Cincinnati first responders deliver lungs needed for transplant amid snowstorm

Erica Carbajal -

First responders navigated through a major snowstorm Feb. 10 to transport a pair of donor lungs and three physicians to Cincinnati Children's Medical Center where a young recipient awaited the organ, local NBC affiliate WLWT reported Feb. 11. 

The physicians and donor organ were onboard a medical flight that was diverted from Lunken Airport, to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is 10 miles further from the hospital. With 10 inches of snow on the ground and two-hour window, airport fire crews and Cincinnati police zigzagged through gridlocked traffic to get the lungs and doctors to the hospital. 

"It was just knowing that we really only had one chance to do this," Jason Baumann, CVG airport firefighter and EMT, told local CBS affiliate WKRC. "If I would have spun out or got stuck in the snow, that was it. The time was up." The trip took just over an hour.

"While we can't discuss any details of patient care, Cincinnati Children's is grateful and thankful to the Cincinnati Police Department, CVG Fire Department and the pilots who helped out amid difficult conditions," a hospital spokesperson said in a statement sent to Becker's Feb. 12. 

WKRC reported the recipient's family told the station that the patient is in stable condition. 

"It does make me feel very good that I was involved, just in a little way, to help some family, maybe have a better life," Cincinnati police Spc. Joe Stevens told WLWT. 

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