OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska State Patrol and other agencies have successfully coordinated a delivery of potentially lifesaving medicine from Omaha to a children’s hospital in Colorado.
The Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora requested a rare medication from the University of Nebraska Medical Center late one June evening, according to Nebraska Medicine spokeswoman Taylor Wilson. The medicine treats amoeba-related infections.
The weather was too rough to fly the medicine from eastern Nebraska, so Nebraska Medicine contacted the State Patrol to help relay the medicine 540 miles (869 kilometers) to the hospital.
Video: Gov. Ricketts and Col. Bolduc Honor Patrol Officers for Medicine Relay
“All they tell us is there’s a child that really needs this and it’s a critical moment,” Patrol Lieutenant Matt Sutter said. Troopers weren’t given any further information about the child’s condition, he said.
The request was the longest distance patrol officers have transported medical necessities under an urgent time frame, according to Sutter.
Nebraska troopers needed to drive the drug closer to the state’s western border with Colorado, where they would pass off the medicine to the Colorado State Patrol.
The effort included seven troopers, who would hand the package off to the next patrol car in the relay. Sutter tracked the medicine across the state while monitoring weather and air-transport options.
Weather conditions in western Nebraska improved so troopers passed the medication to an airplane pilot in North Platte, who flew the drug to a Colorado airport near the hospital. The medicine arrived at the hospital early Wednesday morning. The transportation totaled less than 6 hours from when the first trooper started the relay.
“We try to look at it from the perspective of what would we want the state patrol to do for us if we were that family in that situation?” Sutter said. “When you put things in that perspective and you use that empathy as your measuring stick it’s amazing how all the resources come together and ultimately do the right thing.”