[Blog Article submitted and written by Dr. Moníka Chugh]
On March 11, Dr. Robert Stella died from Covid-19 and his last speech states that he was running out of protective gloves. Weeks later residents-in-training, 1 in Detroit and 2 in NYC, got infected and passed.
Today it is day 60. All this while they have been at work. As essential as soldiers on the battle lines, pilots flying the fighter planes, and admirals patrolling our water territories, our healthcare workers have been on the frontlines inserting themselves between a deadly disease and us. All they need is a bit of support from you and me. They needed their tools to win this fight.
The “Save your Saviors” project was started to help healthcare workers in this fight.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, a Bellarmine College Prep junior, Rishabh Saxena, like everyone else, became increasingly concerned. He set out to do something about this and started Save your Saviors to equip healthcare workers with Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) to help them win this fight.
Shortly thereafter, Shivina Chugh, a junior at MSJHS in Fremont, was becoming increasingly concerned as well. Rishabh and Shivina joined hands to help drive awareness for this cause. After researching how the risks faced by frontline workers could be mitigated, they found that, in addition to other PPE, reusable and washable bio-suits helped keep the infection rate low among the healthcare workers in South Korea. Their research indicated that these bio-suits were already used in a few emergency rooms in hospitals across the United States but were not readily available.
They ran the idea of sourcing the bio-suits by their moms who are healthcare workers, a few Intensive Care Unit directors, and infection control personnel in a few hospitals who saw great value in the idea. At this point, they started contacting a few more hospitals to explore interest in bio-suit as a way to increase protection for their staff. Not only was this idea well-received by the hospitals they contacted, they started getting referrals.
Seeing a high demand for bio suits and other PPE, they decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds. Fremont Bridge Rotary Club also contributed to this cause by raising money for this project. Together they raised $4,050, Rishabh, Shivina, and the rest of the team were able to work with a few vendors to get bio-suits and other PPE’S in a timely manner and pilot it in a few hospitals.
These bio-suits were delivered to Medical staff in ICU’S of Kindred Hospital and St Rose Hospital. In addition, handing over bio suits to Alameda Highland County hospital in Oakland, CA was particularly satisfying to the team because these residents provide care for the indigent patient population and, with bio suits, could avoid the high risk of catching infections that can prove fatal.
Dr. Steven Sackrin at Alameda Highland County Hospital, said “I want to extend our sincere thanks to your organization Save your Saviors. The contribution of personal protective equipment is deeply appreciated. The bio suits are a particularly great addition to our supplies. The bio suits offer a superior degree of protection. It is so nice that they can be cleaned and reused. Most of our patients already have immense challenges, medical and especially non-medical. And our environment is already a bit threadbare and not on many people’s radar. But a sense of mission generally infuses the facility. It was so great that your organization was willing to share its efforts and contributions with this institution. Thank you very, very much for your generosity, thoughtfulness, and the grit/work that it took to accomplish what you have done.”
Dr. Evelyn Nakagawa at Kindred hospital echoed similar sentiments “Save your Saviors has provided bio suits which provide an extra layer of safety and help health care workers focus on their work with peace.”
The Save your Saviors team continues to march forward empowering healthcare workers in their fight and is seeking supporters to generate awareness and aid this campaign.