By: Megan Roche
For the Asad family, sitting idle and watching the coronavirus pandemic pass by is just simply not their nature. Nart and Layali, mom and dad to four boys, have put their children to creative work. The boys, alongside dad, are working on patient ventilator prototypes.
“I always had passion for science and technology, and I have constantly shared this passion with my kids for years and my wife always supported this passion in every possible way. The COVID-19 crisis however was very special. We were seeing the communities we lived in, worked in, and loved, suffering with people facing all kind of issues, and we just wanted to help. It was very clear that the lack of ventilators can be a very high risk, so we wanted to help by mitigating this risk, here, and around the world.” Asad said.
The Asad boys began the process excitedly. Dad first had them make the original prototype with Legos, a process of building and programming that the four boys were able to complete all in one day. The process of building the ventilator has not been without its issues though.
“I talked about the issue with my kids and we decided to build a prototype with Lego parts that we have. They built the prototype and programmed it, all in less than one day.
Then we started building a functional prototype, something that provides basic functions of emergency ventilators. We faced huge issues with logistics, such as not being able to find the required parts in shops or get them online in a relatively fast time. As a result, we had to improvise a lot, make most of the parts at home, including valves, pump, casing, electronics, and some mechanical parts. We also used other parts that we took from house appliances or tools.” Asad shared.
Asad saw what was going on and jumped in immediately. Thanks to the help of borrowing parts from Wayne Hills High School and the support of the Wayne Township School district, he and his family are hoping to help not just in America, but around the world.
“We want to make an emergency ventilator that is very easy to manufacture, assemble, and not costly. There should be enough to be stacked in tens of thousands for emergencies. It can be also used in poor countries to save lives that used to be wasted for the lack of these devices. Doctors should never have to make the decision of who gets to live or die because of the lack of ventilators.” Asad said.
The Asad family is continuing to work on the process. They are currently working on oxygen mixing. Nart and Layali have no plans to end the process until their prototype is done, but they are also hoping this project teaches their sons some very important life lessons along the way.
“I hope this project will continue until all goals are met, so no one will die because of the lack of ventilators. I want to teach my children about the value of helping others, standing for the right thing, understanding teamwork and community work, and to appreciate knowledge and education, as it is the path for safe and flourishing humanity.
Everyone should try to help in his/her own way. Many people already do this, which is so touching, eye opening, and heart moving. People are making masks for free, shopping for elderly, and donating to hospitals. Today we are more united than ever, and we will win this together.”