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Patient Story

7-Year-Old Saint Luke’s Hero Creates KC Themed Mask Band to Help his Mom


“It feels really good to help so many nurses.”          -Ethan Stimac

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethan Stimac, son of our very own Saint Luke’s South Hospital nurse, Ashley Stimac, has produced hundreds of customized mask bands from his kid-friendly 3D printer to donate to health care providers across the country. The device is a plastic adjustable connector for the mask straps, relieving pressure and keeping the protective gear in place for medical providers.

It all started when Ethan’s mother, Ashley, came home from work one day. He was upset that the mask she had to wear all day was hurting the back of her ears and that it fell off her face a few times, putting her in danger. Immediately, he said, “Mom I’m going to do some research and see if I can do something to help.”

Ethan and his father, Tyler, looked online at creating mask bands with 3D printers, and found a basic strap design, which they modified to create the adjustable bands with the inscription “Love KC.”

“Ethan has a really big heart,” says his mom, Ashley. “He is always inventing things, and he dreams of being a robotics engineer when he grows up.”

After Ashley started to benefit from the comfort and security of her mask band, she passed them out to her coworkers. “Our team of Saint Luke’s nurses are proud to represent Kansas City,” said Ashley. Through word of mouth, Facebook, and news, these mask bands are being requested from nearly every state in the country.

The Stimac’s printer is running 24/7 to keep up with the 2,000 requests. Every two hours, Tyler and Ethan change the batch. They are currently working on an order for a relief team in New York.

“It feels really good to help so many nurses,” says Ethan with a big smile, who is planning to use the donated funds they receive to purchase a 3D printer for Children’s Mercy.

The Stimac family loves to help out, so they are printing and shipping these devices free of charge. If you are interested in ordering a mask band or donating to this project, please email kcmaskproject2020@gmail.com.

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