A helicopter carries a donor heart – and crashes. The organ can be rescued, but another tricky situation arises on the way to the operating room. The story ends slightly.

Dramatic accident with a happy ending: an organ donor’s heart survived a helicopter crash in California. The helicopter suddenly lost control on Friday as it approached Keck University Hospital in east Los Angeles. For reasons that have not yet been clarified, the machine hit the hospital’s helipad.

Successful heart transplant

Called firefighters retrieved the beating heart from the helicopter wreckage and handed it over to a clinic employee in full protective clothing. Shortly after, another dangerous situation arose: On the way to the operating room, the hospital worker stumbled over a metal plate – the donor heart slipped from his hands. A colleague of the man has retrieved the solid donor heart.

The heart transplant has now been successful, says a hospital spokesman for the AFP news agency. The affected patient is fine. “The heart itself was undamaged after it fell,” he said.

The three occupants of the helicopter are also doing well, he said. Only the pilot suffered minor injuries in the impact.

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