Donor liver survives crash en route to transplant

USA TODAY | Ted Czech, York (Pa.) Daily RecorD

An organ transport, taking a liver from a donor at York Hospital to a recipient near Philadelphia, crashed on Saturday. The liver survived and was taken to the surgery in time, according to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Dr. Warren Maley.
YORK, Pa. — An operation for a liver transplant was underway Saturday morning at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia when Dr. Warren Maley called and said there was a problem.

The SUV transporting Maley, two other people and a preserved liver — on ice and inside a box — had left York Hospital on-time but slid on a slippery road in Lancaster County and crashed, rendering it inoperable, he said.

"We started exploring different options, having an ambulance take us, calling state police," Maley said.

That's when East Cocalico Township Police Sgt. Darrick Keppley, who had responded to the crash, stepped up.

"He right away said he would be glad to take us back," Maley said of Keppley. "That was a godsend, because it meant we only had an hour delay, instead of three or four hours if we had waited for someone to pick us up."

Liver unharmed in crash

Maley, along with an assistant and a Gift of Life employee, acquired the liver from a patient at York Hospital earlier that morning and then left for Thomas Jefferson in an SUV driven by a transport company contracted by Gift of Life, an organ donor organization, he said. Continue reading