Innovator: Taft Foley III




How many people have regarded on the rising COVID-19 circumstances in our communities and questioned, “What can I do to assist?” Eighteen-year-old Taft Foley III turned that thought into motion, beginning his personal cell 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 might see folks working away from the hearth and the hazard. However there have been additionally folks working towards the constructing,” he says. Including, “This scene profoundly influenced my sense of responsibility, honor, and braveness.”

Final summer season, at simply 17 years outdated, Foley III turned the youngest EMT in Texas.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 nearly 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 stated, ‘There must 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 car, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 checks to anybody within the Houston space who wants one. He costs a $150 price to those that will pay. A portion of that price goes to fund free checks for the aged, homeless, and veterans in the neighborhood. Up to now, the enterprise has supplied greater than 4,000 free checks. “I’d wish to assume that I’m having a big effect — making the Houston space slightly bit safer,” he says.

As for all times after highschool, he has a formidable record of potential faculties: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. “I’d wish to turn into a trauma surgeon or plastic surgeon,” he says. “So long as I can save lives and assist different folks, I’ll be a contented 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 into a profitable particular person.

If you happen to might do something to assist others, what would you do?

I might begin instructional applications to tutor and mentor youth, to assist break the cycle of poverty in African American communities.

What’s your dream job?

I might really feel fairly completed and blissful if I had been capable of enhance the lives of others utilizing medication.

What do you do to chill out?

I wish to sleep, learn, and speak to my associates.


Learn the present problem of  WebMD Magazine, browse again points, and discover extra articles.


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

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.