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Local doctors and family make face shields for medical workers during pandemic

HOUSTON – They are a close-knit and hardworking family of four who are growing even closer by the day as they work on a massive family project together.

During every free moment they have, Dr. Roman Nieto, his wife, Dr. Crystal Nieto, and their two young boys, 7-year-old Max and 9-year-old Roman III, are all making protective face shields for healthcare providers. In fact, they have already made 100 of these shields and are planning to make at least 300 more.

“We decided to build these face shields together to try and fill the void. There is a nationwide shortage of these shields as you know and even in my own hospital, the masks have been running short,” Dr. Roman Nieto said.

Just like an assembly line, each family member, husband, wife and both boys have their own individual job in the process. One person cuts the plastic, another punches holes, another ties the mask together with zip ties and elastic hair bands. There are no expensive 3-D printers in this household, the Nietos are doing all of this by hand, using common parts you can find in any hardware store.

They found the instructions on the internet, made a couple of adjustments and went right to work. In fact, the Nietos can crank out a brand new shield every 5 minutes, just using their bare hands and some simple materials. Little Roman knows how important this project is.

“I’m trying to help the doctors and nurses and technicians who are helping the people who are really sick,” Roman III said, as he cut a piece of plastic.

“These shields will protect the workers when they are working with a patient who has COVID-19. It protects them from any kind of germs or from any kind of splatter,” said 7-year-old Max.

Both Roman and Crystal are doctors trying to save lives during this Corona crisis. The Nietos said for about $100 in materials, they can build more than 400 shields. These shields could be lifesavers for many doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers and Crystal is very proud her young sons wanted to be part of this.

“I am so proud, so very, very proud of them. They are learning something very important in this,” Crystal said.

See instructions to make your own, below: