A CHARITY which provides children with artificial limbs has branched out to create medical visors to help protect frontline workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The LimbBo Foundation was created two years ago by Adam and Katie Dengel after their son, Tommy, now five, was born missing his right forearm due to a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome.
From their Royston garage, they began making 3D printed, specially-adapted limbs for Tommy and other children to help them to complete day-to-day tasks. The artificial limbs come in a variety of themes from Wonder Woman to Buzz Lightyear.
Amid a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the charity has created visors for health workers which will help to protect them against the virus.
“The company that makes the 3D printers released a design for people to use for free,” said Adam, 31, of Shepherd Way. “We downloaded it and set our five 3D printers to work and they haven’t stopped all week.
“Each batch of four takes about five hours to complete and we have been running the printers non-stop, just trying to make as many masks as possible.”
The pair have enough materials to make around 180 masks which will be donated to GP surgeries, pharmacies and post offices around Barnsley.
“We are trying to make as many masks as we can,” said Adam.
“Because a lot of people around the world are making these masks, there is a global shortage of materials that can be used with the 3D printers which means we can only make a limited amount.
“We would love to keep making these masks but while there is a limited supply of materials, we can only make so many.
“We are a charity so we just want to help people and we just want to do our bit. If these masks help to save just one person then it will be worth it.”
The masks have a band to fit around the person’s head and a clear visor which will help to protect against viral antibodies that could enter the body through the eyes or mouth. The design chosen by Adam and Katie is reusable and can be disinfected after wearing.
“There are other designs out there that are quicker to make and require less materials but they are more flimsy and won’t be as effective.
“We wanted them to protect people as best they can so we went for the more effective mask that can be sanitised after use.
“There’s a big shortage of protective equipment at the moment so anything we can do to help will be worth it.”