Normally transforming wheelchairs, Olathe father-son duo create unique shield for hospitals

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OLATHE, Kan. — A local father and son realized their garage had the right supplies to help hospitals in the fight against the coronavirus.

They’re building a kind of see-through tent that will be an extra layer of protection when doctors insert breathing tubes.

Walkin’ and Rollin’ costumes are putting together respiratory intimation shields for St. Luke’s Hospital.

RELATED: Olathe man creating custom Halloween costumes for kids in wheelchairs from his garage

“I’ve got the materials in my garage,” Co-Founder and Creative Director Lon Davis said laughing.

Davis and his son Reese have plenty of PVC pipe in the garage because of their nonprofit. They transform wheelchairs for kids across the country into their favorite things, like Arrowhead Stadium or Wall-E.

COVID-19 put their builds and workshops on pause, so helping local hospitals is a nice change of pace.

“This was the design that the hospital sent us,” Davis said.

The father-son duo mapped out the right measurements and got busy.

“My son and I just work really well with thinking outside the box and building things,” Davis said.

Here’s how it works: First they build a box, of sorts, out of PVC pipe. Then a shield is clamped to the pipe, creating a barrier between patients and doctors or nurses. This way they can intubate the person without fear of being exposed.

“It feels good and exciting because we know not a whole lot of people can do it,“ Reese Davis said. “It’s at least something we can help the doctors and nurses on the front lines.”

The ER director at St. Luke’s Hospital ordered these shields for all seven of its locations. Davis and Reese’s creation started helping people the day after they were built.

The hospital system needed seven, but they were able to build 10.

“These go together really fast,” Davis said.

That’s a good thing when hospitals need unique supplies like this in a pinch. Plus, they’re reusable.

“Hopefully it saves lives and keeps the spread of the disease from going further,” Davis said.

Hammerspace Community Workshop connected Davis and St. Luke’s Hospital. Davis said Hammerspace built 3,000-5,000 face shields for health care workers.

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