Innovator: Taft Foley III


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

Foley bought the urge to assist after watching movies of 9/11, which occurred earlier than he was born. “The one factor that caught out to me essentially the most was that, as one of many towers fell and the mud rose, you may see individuals operating away from the hearth and the hazard. However there have been additionally individuals operating towards the constructing,” he says. Including, “This scene profoundly influenced my sense of obligation, honor, and braveness.”

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 behind an ambulance. “It was fairly scary,” he says. “They had been in very unhealthy form. Individuals had been virtually unable to breathe in any respect.”

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. “Throughout these 2 weeks, I used to be quarantined. I mentioned, ‘There needs to be a greater manner.’”

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 automobile, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 assessments to anybody within the Houston space who wants one. He expenses a $150 payment to those that pays. A portion of that payment goes to fund free assessments for the aged, homeless, and veterans in the neighborhood. So far, the enterprise has supplied greater than 4,000 free assessments. “I’d prefer to assume that I’m having a huge impact — making the Houston space a bit of bit safer,” he says.

As for all times after highschool, he has a powerful listing of potential schools: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. “I’d prefer to turn out to be a trauma surgeon or plastic surgeon,” he says. “So long as I can save lives and assist different individuals, I’ll be a cheerful particular 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 out to be a profitable particular person.

Should you may do something to assist others, what would you do?

I’d begin academic applications 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 blissful if I had been capable of enhance the lives of others utilizing drugs.

What do you do to calm down?

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


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

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