CHICAGO — Illinois State Police troopers helped save a life in the Chicago area Tuesday in one of the most unique ways possible.

Trooper Cibrian and Trooper Snisko responded to a call for help for a car that had a flat tire on Interstate 55 at Throop Street. The vehicle and the people inside were urgently transporting a donor heart to UChicago Medicine’s Hyde Park campus.

The flat tire happened at the worst possible time. The clock was ticking for the University of Chicago Medicine team to get the heart to the hospital.

“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 three hours,” said Ashley Heher, Director of Media Relations and Breaking News for UChicago Medicine.

Troopers Cibrian and Snisko knew time was of the essence and without hesitation took the medical team and the heart to the hospital.

“Our District Chicago Troopers were able to turn a potentially bad situation into a thankful ending for at least one family this Thanksgiving holiday. I am extremely proud of our officers who acted without hesitation in this life saving transport,” said Interim Captain Angelo Mollo.

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The ISP troopers got everyone to the hospital in time for doctors to perform the heart transplant surgery.

The recipient is recovering, hospital officials said.

Illinois Department of Transportation crews also responded to the scene and fixed the flat tire while the troopers quickly took the medical team to the hospital.

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