June 23, 2020

Former patient donates face mask straps

Adrian Lee Gacek, a former Northern Hospital patient, found a innovative way to give back to his hospital during the times of a pandemic.

“I was just seeing online how people were helping hospitals, particularly with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Then, I realised I can make something with my 3D printer and donate to medical staff,” he said.

Adrian first started making face shields. After a while, he came across face masks straps and after researching how useful these are to nurses, he started printing them too.

“I purchased three more 3D printers and started producing the straps and donating to different hospitals,” he said.

Even though he was donating to various hospitals, Northern Hospital Epping is the one he has a special connection to.

“I was a patient at Northern about three years ago and spent a number of nights here,” he said.

The appreciation for the treatment and positive patient experience he had here was the main motivation behind his donation.

“I am very appreciative of what Northern Hospital has done for me. I am really happy to be able to give back just a little bit,” he said.

3D printing is just a hobby for Adrian, that he was now able to put to a good cause. He usually uses his 3D printers to print little toys for kids, little animals and similar.

“I never used my 3D printers for really useful things. The straps are very helpful to hospital staff and I am very happy about that,” he added.

Nicholas Romeo, the Head Scientist and Lab Manager of the Respiratory Department at Northern Health said the hospital staff are very thankful for the donation.

“We cannot be more appreciative of Adrian reaching out to us and this is a great example of the community wanting to assist us in a time of need. We were able to work together to ensure a good supply of surgical mask straps after staff feedback of discomfort when wearing surgical masks for extended periods. Adrian continues to supply hundreds of surgical mask straps at no charge to ensure we have enough for all staff,” he said.

After meeting with Adrian on several occasions and also visiting his home, Nicholas has discovered other ways Adrian is willing to assist Northern Health.

“Adrian will be part of What the Hack – Northern Health’s inaugural hack weekend next month. We are very thankful for all Adrian is doing for Northern Health,” he added.

Featured image (left to right): Nicholas Romeo and Adrian Lee Gacek