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Louisville 15-year-old creates project making 3D printed masks to help local hospitals

A 15-year-old in Louisville is splitting her time between schoolwork and creating a business to help those on the frontlines.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When 15-year-old Tala Saad took home a 3D printer to continue with her school work at Kentucky Country Day, her teacher suggested she learn to print face masks, "We originally planned on making 10 to 20 and that become 100, 250 now."

The only printing she'd done was for robotics. "So it was more of a learn as you go process to see what worked and what didn't," said Tala.

Quickly exceeding her original goal, the project meant it was keeping her loved ones safe, "This is personal to me, my dad's an ICU doctor." 

She sent one hundred of those masks to Baptist East Hospital. "As stressful as it was for me, everyone else is also on the frontlines and they should know that they are safe while helping people and they shouldn't feel like they're at risk," said Tala.

That's when the requests started coming in, "And I didn't want people paying for them so I said to fund these supplies as we start donating more and more, you can go to this page." To keep up with the need, Tala created code-covid.org. It's a website to find resources, donate and request facemasks if you need one. Tala says the orders keep coming in, "about 60, 65 more to go elsewhere, assisted living facilities and healthcare workers."

While there's a need, Tala says she'll continue printing away, "They're saving our lives, it's the least we can do to protect theirs."

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