Lafayette sewing teacher makes homemade masks for doctors and COVID-19 patients

Acadiana Adapts

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Suzette Russo teaches sewing at Top Stitch Sewing School.

The school was forced it shut its doors recently because of the coronavirus, so when her son, a physician in Bogalusa, asked her to make masks for his medical staff, she jumped at the opportunity to put her skills to work.

“I went into production right away,” Russo said.

She wanted to make sure that medical professionals across the state would be able to use her masks too.

“I started looking at the research from Cambridge University to see what the fabrics would be in case it came to that,” she added.

The answer was a two-layer mask using T-shirt material on the inside of the mask and tightly-woven cotton, similar to a pillow case, on the outside.

She made 72 and sent them to her son’s hospital.

Her son says they work well, but Russo is not done making improvements to her homemade mask just yet.

“We’ll be making a similar mask in style where we can take a piece of dismantled air conditioner filter, which is a MERV 13. I believe that’s the strongest of filtrations that you can get, and we’re going to be slipping that in here so that we can better protect our doctors,” Russo told News 10.

The mask takes about 25 minutes to complete, but Russo says she knows that 25 minutes can save someone years of their life.

You can donate the masks in a drop-off box at Lafayette City Hall or bring them to the Cajundome between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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