Illinois State Troopers help deliver heart after transplant vehicle gets flat tire

After an organ transplant vehicle got a flat tire, troopers with the Illinois State Police stepped in to help. (KWQC/ISP)
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(KWQC) - After an organ transplant vehicle got a flat tire, troopers with the Illinois State Police stepped in to help.

In a Facebook post that was posted Thursday, officials with the Illinois State Police posted that a couple of their troopers responded to the report just before 4:20 a.m., to I-55 northbound at Throop Street on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

"Upon arrival, Trooper Cibrian and Trooper Snisko learned the disabled vehicle was an organ transport vehicle with a flat tire," the Facebook post read. "The vehicle was transporting a recently procured heart and three people from the University of Chicago Medicine – a surgeon, a transplant coordinator, and a medical student, who were traveling from Midway Airport back to UChicago Medicine’s Hyde Park campus, when the vehicle became disabled."

Officials say the troopers "immediately realized" how timely the situation was so the troopers transported the heart and the three people to the academic medical center.

The Illinois Department of Transportation Minutemen arrived and remained on scene to assist the driver and the transport vehicle that had the flat tire.

The troopers were able to safely get the three people and the heart to the center in a timely manner so they could perform the surgery.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to transplant surgery,” said Ashley Heher, Director of Media Relations and Breaking News for UChicago Medicine. “There is about a four to six hour window of time for a heart to remain viable for surgery and the team had already been traveling for approximately 3 hours."

“Our District Chicago Troopers were able to turn a potentially bad situation into a thankful ending for at least one family this Thanksgiving holiday. I am extremely proud of our officers who acted without hesitation in this life saving transport. I am equally proud of the hard work all of our Troopers do each and every day in keeping our roadways safe and those hearts that travel upon them, even safer,” said Interim Captain Angelo Mollo.

The Illinois State Police would also like to remind drivers that if they see a vehicle on the side of the road stationary and with their emergency or hazard lights on, to slow down and if possible, move over out of the lane adjacent to the stopped vehicle.