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Innovator: Taft Foley III

Innovator: Taft Foley III

How many of us have seen cases of COVID-19 on the rise in our communities and wondered what I can do to help? Eighteen-year-old Taft Foley III turned that thought into action by launching his COVID-19 mobile testing lab.

Foley got the urge to help after watching the 9/11 videos that happened before he was born. “One of the things that caught my attention the most was that as one of the towers collapsed and the dust rose, people could be seen escaping the fire and danger. But there were also people running to the building, “he says. In addition,” This scene had a big impact on my sense of duty, honor and courage. “

Last summer, at just 17 years old, Foley III became the youngest EMT in Texas. He treated many COVID-19 patients who were permanently ill in the back of an ambulance. “It was pretty scary,” he says. “They were in a very bad state. People could hardly breathe not at all ”.

After completing the clinical part of the EMT training, Foley III had to undergo a COVID-19 test. He noted that it took him 3 to 4 hours of waiting time at the state exam centers and two weeks to get his results. “In those 2 weeks, I was in my forties. “There has to be a better way,” I said.

He raised $ 60,000 (selling his comic books and video game collection, doing neighborhood yard work, among other things) with his father, and used the money to buy a van and test materials. As he is finishing his second year of high school, he spends 20 hours a week working on a Texas Mobile Medical Labs vehicle, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 tests to anyone who needs Houston. It charges a $ 150 fee to those who can afford it. Part of that fee is used to fund free trials for the elderly, homeless and veterans in the community. So far the business has provided more than 4,000 free trials. “I’d like to think I’m having a big impact – making the Houston area a little safer,” he says.

As for his post-high school life, he has an impressive list of potential universities: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia and Princeton. “I would like to become a trauma surgeon or plastic surgeon,” he says. “As long as I can save lives and help other people, I will be a happy person.”

WebMD Exclusive: 2021 Becomes a Personal Health Hero

Who is your hero?

My father, was born because he was successful in making the cycle of poverty a success.

If you did something to help others, what would you do?

I would start educational programs to be a mentor and mentor to young people to help break the cycle of poverty in African American communities.

What is the job of your dreams?

If I were able to improve the lives of others by using medicine I would feel quite happy and satisfied.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy sleeping, reading, and talking to my friends.

Read the current number WebMD Magazine, go back to browse the issues and find more articles.


Taft Foley III, a high school student, founder of Texas Mobile Medical Labs.

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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