DES PLAINES, Ill. (KFVS) - Two Illinois State Police troopers (ISP) played an important role in a successful heart transplant.
Early Tuesday morning, Trooper Cibrian and Trooper Snisko were called to help a driver with a broken down vehicle on Interstate 55 in Des Plaines.
The vehicle had a flat tire and was carrying precious cargo.
The troopers learned the vehicle was used to transport transplant organs and on board was a recently procured heart.
The transport team of three had recently traveled from Midway Airport when they got a flat tire.
The team members were trying to get to the UChicago Medicine’s Hyde Park.
When the two troopers realized the time-sensitive situation, they jumped into action and quickly transported the team and heart to the hospital.
The troopers successfully delivered the precious cargo, just in time.
"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.”
A spokeswoman from the hospital said the heart transplant patient is recovering.
Interim ISP Captain Angelo Mollo said he is very proud of his troopers and thankful they could help at such a critical time.
“Our District Chicago Troopers were able to turn a potentially bad situation into a thankful ending for at least one family this Thanksgiving holiday," said Mollo. “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.”
It is not unusual for Trooper Snisko and Trooper Cibrian to work together. Both are ISP Academy classmates and graduated the Academy in August of 2018.
As for the broken down organ transport vehicle, members of the Illinois Department of Transportation arrived and fixed the flat tire.