CORONAVIRUS

Illinois family donates 50 homemade face shields to University of Iowa hospital

Children wanted to help hospital that saved dad's life in 2017

From left to right, Jon Williams, Alex Williams, 12, Bella Williams, 8, and Jane Williams, made 50 face shields to donat
From left to right, Jon Williams, Alex Williams, 12, Bella Williams, 8, and Jane Williams, made 50 face shields to donate to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (submitted photo)
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IOWA CITY — An Illinois family, wanting to find a way to help with the COVID-19 outbreak, made more than 50 face shields and delivered them Tuesday to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which had put out an urgent call for shields Sunday.

“I told my family that the hospital needs the face shields desperately because they were even asking for used ones. This was something we could do!” said Jane Williams, of Hampton, Ill.

“The whole family is very enthusiastic, and both kids, including Bella, 8 years old, believe this is patriotic and their duty, especially since the doctors at UIHC saved their dad’s life two and half years ago.”

Jon Williams had a stroke in 2017 and was airlifted from the Quad Cities to UIHC, where brain surgery saved his life, his wife said.

This history made the Williamses eager to find a way to help fill the need for face shields. After trying several prototypes, Jon and Jane Williams, along with Bella and Alex, 12, settled on a plastic report cover attached to a headband of foam and heavy duty tape.

“Alex suggested using his dad’s power saw to cut the brow cushion foam after trying with different knives,” Jane Williams said. “My husband got his tools out and the carpet tape. Naturally, we had to clean and sanitize the saw and everything we use.”

The Williamses worked all day Monday, with the kids helping cut materials, assembling the parts and testing the shields. Tuesday they drove the masks to Iowa City and delivered them outside the hospital to a concierge employee, Williams said.

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The Iowa City hospital issued an “urgent request” Sunday for new or used face shields to keep hospital staff safe from COVID-19, which can be spread through droplets or vapors from a sick person who is coughing. The hospital has enough shields for staff who provide patient care or do screenings at hospital entrances, but officials were looking for extra shields so everyone working on-site could wear one.

To donate protective face shields or other personal protective equipment, visit the In-Kind Donations website, at uihc.org/kind-donations.

Individuals, companies or organizations also may call Concierge Services at (319) 356-1900 or (319) 678-5500.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

 

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