MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahomans are pitching in to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A metro man who had thousands of dollars worth of personal protective equipment sitting in his garage has selflessly donated them.
“It was just funny. It makes a good story,” said Dave Stupka.
The retired Air Force veteran and Tinker contractor was talking about a garage full of N95 masks.
He says he bought them years ago at a construction auction to use while sanding floors and blowing insulation at rental homes.
“It was about 20 cases. I probably needed about one,” said Stupka.
So when he got a call asking for medical donations, Stupka and his buddy went out to his garage and found almost 3,000 N-95 masks. The masks are one of the pieces of personal equipment in the highest demand at hospitals around the world.
“We looked up the price of these masks and I was like ‘John, you might want to pull the truck inside the house,’” said Stupka.
The mask makes a seal around the face and helps stop the spread of respiratory diseases.
Regularly, the N-95 mask retails for about $1 per mask, but prices online right now are out of control. Dave estimates the lot to be worth over $25,000.
“I paid $15 for the whole lot and I got the use out of them I needed,” said Stupka.
Despite the value, Stupka gave them to INTEGRIS Health over the weekend at their donation site.
“We don’t mind helping out. They were sitting there doing nothing for me. Let’s give them to people that need them, especially the nurses and doctors. They need them more than anybody,” said Stupka.
“When I saw the picture of that guy’s closet with all the masks, I was like motherload, wow that is awesome,” said Dr. David Chansolme.
Dr. David Chansolme is the head of Infectious Disease for INTEGRIS Health. He says donations have been coming in from all over the metro from people from all walks of life.
“We know that in Oklahoma, people will do that. We need everybody to do that. Giving your supplies is great, but stepping to the plate even more is staying at home and practicing social distancing,” said Chansolme.
For more information on how you can help donate, visit the website.
Dr. Chansolme says the N-95 masks are in such short supply because they were mostly made in China. He says INTEGRIS also needs gloves, gowns, and face shields.