Innovator: Taft Foley III

How many people have seemed on the rising COVID-19 circumstances in our communities and questioned, “What can I do to help?” Eighteen-year-old Taft Foley III turned that thought into motion, beginning his personal cell COVID-19 testing lab.

Foley obtained the urge to assist after watching movies of 9/11, which occurred earlier than he was born. “The one thing that stuck out to me the most was that, as one of the towers fell and the dust rose, you could see people running away from the fire and the danger. But there were also people running toward the building,” he says. Including, “This scene profoundly influenced my sense of duty, honor, and courage.”

Final summer season, at simply 17 years previous, Foley III turned the youngest EMT in Texas. He cared for a lot of desperately sick COVID-19 sufferers at the back of an ambulance. “It was pretty scary,” he says. “They were in very bad shape. People were almost unable to breathe at all.”

After he accomplished the medical portion of EMT coaching, Foley III needed to get a COVID-19 take a look at. He famous the 3- to 4-hour waits on the state’s testing facilities, and the two weeks it took to get his outcomes. “During those 2 weeks, I was quarantined. I said, ‘There has to be a better way.’”

He raised $60,000 (by promoting his classic comedian books and online game assortment, doing yard work within the neighborhood, amongst different issues), which his father matched, and used the cash to purchase a van and testing provides. Whereas ending his senior 12 months of highschool, he spends 20 hours every week working in his Texas Cell Medical Labs car, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 assessments to anybody within the Houston space who wants one. He costs a $150 charge to those that will pay. A portion of that charge goes to fund free assessments for the aged, homeless, and veterans locally. So far, the enterprise has offered greater than 4,000 free assessments. “I’d like to think that I am having a big impact — making the Houston area a little bit safer,” he says.

As for all times after highschool, he has a powerful checklist of potential schools: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. “I’d like to become a trauma surgeon or plastic surgeon,” he says. “As long as I can save lives and help other people, I’ll be a happy person.”

WebMD Unique: Our 2021 Well being Hero Will get Private

Who’s your hero?

My father, as a result of he was capable of break the cycle of poverty he was born into to turn into a profitable particular person.

In case you may do something to assist others, what would you do?

I’d begin instructional packages to tutor and mentor youth, to assist break the cycle of poverty in African American communities.

What’s your dream job?

I’d really feel fairly achieved and joyful if I have been capable of enhance the lives of others utilizing medication.

What do you do to chill out?

I prefer to sleep, learn, and discuss to my buddies.


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Taft Foley III, highschool scholar, founding father of Texas Cell Medical Labs.

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