MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police officers who helped save a young mother’s life by getting her through rush hour traffic were given an emotional thank you on Monday.
She had little time to get to Manhattan from Long Island for a life-saving organ transplant, but the officers made the impossible happen.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff that Dana Sepulveda knows how precious time is.
Time nearly ran out for the Massapequa mother of two in dire need of a new liver and kidneys — hers were growing out of control.
“They were almost forty pounds between my two kidneys and liver. It’s a terminal disease, most people who have it die from it,” she said.
In June, an organ match finally came in, but doctors said it had a life or death deadline.
“They are yours, hurry up and get here, you have an hour-and-a-half,” they told her.
She left her husband home with two babies, and rushed to the police station with a frantic plea for help.
“I was so desperate, and I just didn’t know what to do,” she said.
“She had 90 minutes to get to Mt. Sinai hospital, 90 minutes, 6 o’clock in the morning on Long Island, that’s about a 4 hr drive,” Nassau County PBA, Vice President Peter Patterson said.
Nassau County officers whisked her via police escort to a police chopper, then flew 37 miles above rush hour traffic to a Manhattan heliport, holding her hand along the way.
“I put myself in her husband’s shoes. I have a wife and two kids,” aviation medic Greg Millwater Jr. said.
“Every day they raise the bar, and that’s what’s important,” acting police commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
The medic, pilot, and officers were named this month’s Nassau County ‘Top Cops.’
It’s been quite an initiation for rookie cop Michael Passarelli, last month he delivered a newborn on Sunrise Highway.
“To deliver a baby, and save a life, no better feeling than this,” he said.
With her polcystic liver replaced with a normal one, she now has time to say thank you.
“They saved me, and they gave me a chance to be okay for my kids, and I can never repay that,” she said.
Sepulveda is getting stronger every day, after the transplant and is hopeful for a future with plenty of time for her family.
Sepulveda’s husband is an NYPD officer, but Nassau cops didn’t know that until after they ordered the chopper and sprang into action.