Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol are used to taking life-or-death calls that require a fast response time. However, a recent request had them coming together to race against time to help a child all the way in Colorado.
Doctors at The Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora needed a rare medication to help a sick child. Unfortunately, the closest location that had it was in eastern Nebraska.
Typically, officials would simply fly the medication to the hospital, located 540 miles away. However, rough weather prevented commercial and other aircraft from taking off for the quick transport.
That’s when the troopers knew they had to think quickly and creatively.
“All they tell us is there’s a child that really needs this and it’s a critical moment,” Patrol Lieutenant Matt Sutter told the Associated Press.
The child, it turned out, potentially suffered from Naegleria Fowleri, also known as a “brain-eating ameoba” and only the drug known as Impavido could treat the condition.
The clock was ticking and the officers took off on a relay that would spread across hundreds of miles. Parts of the journey were documented on social media by the department.
The convoy started shortly after 10 p.m. local time. First, it traveled by various cars to North Platte, Neb. It included seven troopers along the way. Once the officers were far enough west, the skies cleared and a plane was able to take the medication the rest of the way. The drug arrived at the hospital at about 2 a.m. local time.
The little girl was able to receive the medication and, luckily, doctors determined she did not have the rare condition. However, the drug was still necessary because the illness has a 97-percent risk of fatality, if contracted.
For the troopers involved in this remarkable relay, the outcome was the only thing that mattered — not the time it took to get it done or long distance covered.
“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,” Sutter concluded.