A DISABLED Tranent man is using his 3D printer to produce face protection masks for NHS and care workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Mike Girdwood, 53, uses a wheelchair and has a range of conditions, including asthma, diabetes and breathing issues, and is often visited by carers.

His GP advised that visitors to his home should wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mike said: “If people come into my house without protection, the virus could kill me. If people can’t wear PPE, they can’t come into my house. 

“It is as simple as that.”

He started printing valves for air machines after hearing that Italy had a shortage of them.

After a discussion with others in the 3D printing community he discovered that there was also a shortage of protective equipment, particularly face screens.

Mike said: “People were discussing a shortage of suitable face screen covers and they were trying to work out ways to make them.

“So I took a risk and had a meeting with a 3D printing group in Edinburgh, and decided to print them for anyone that needs them.

“I started printing them for the NHS and workers in Tranent Medical Centre but over the last few weeks it literally went ‘bang’.

“It’s turned into this absolute whirlwind. 

“I’m just one guy in a wheelchair wanting to save lives. I find it quite upsetting that there are staff, nurses and carers standing at my front door begging for these screens."

His efforts have attracted the interest of councillors Kenny McLeod, Colin McGinn and Craig Hoy, as well as county MP Kenny MacAskill, who have all contacted him.

One mask takes 15 minutes and costs up to £2.50 to make; Mike is currently covering the cost himself but is “desperately needing support”.

He has launched an online fundraising page to help pay for supplies and is on the lookout for bigger premises and volunteers.

People can donate at www.gofundme.com/f/8udwp-covid19-face-shields and anyone who would like to offer their help can contact Mike via mikegirdwood66@gmail.com

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