Pinnacle Alum Helping Box Out COVID-19

An avid runner, Brandon Lawrence’s mind is usually running while he’s, well…running.

The one-time Pinnacle High cross-country runner (Class of 2003) is now an emergency medical physician at Abrazo Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale.

Dr. Lawrence, along with a few fellow physicians, opened dialogue in a group text several weeks ago on a solution to help curb medical staff members from getting sick as they treat patients for COVID-19 or similar illnesses. 

“We were seeing everything that was happening in China and Italy…this doctor in Taiwan put out this intubation box, is what he was calling it,” Dr. Lawrence said to “We kind of went back and forth saying how cool it would be to have.”

Shortly thereafter fellow doctor and close friend Ben Reeser developed a test model of the box. Initially, it looked promising but the group failed to consider one fairly significant cultural difference.

“We tried it out and it was way too small for the average American,” Lawrence explained. “Because the dimensions were for Taiwan.”

The concept quickly caught on and word got out through Lawrence and others in the local and national medical field. Soon a handful of businesses, including OrthoSpine Partners in Scottsdale, stepped up to help expedite the process as the pandemic continued. 

The crew, working in conjunction, can now produce anywhere from 20 to 25 boxes per day. 

“[OrthoSpine] is basically devoting their entire workshop and logistics team to sending these everywhere,” he said.

Close to 200 boxes have been sent out to hospitals all over the country with all expenses covered by the intubation box team.

Lawrence and his peers are already brainstorming other next-level type boxes to be used in various medical situations, including ambulances for severe respiratory stress while working in the field.

In reflection, Lawrence is taken back by what started as a simple group text between physicians.

“It’s been a pretty remarkable process.”

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