A helicopter delivering a new heart to a heart transplant patient at the Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California crashed while landing last Friday, November 6, flipping onto its side. Three people on board, including the pilot, sustained minor injuries, but emergency responders were still incredibly able to retrieve the heart unscathed.
But even more incredibly, as you can see in the news footage, below, that wasn’t the only thing that went wrong. As a firefighter handed the heart over to a medic, the medic stepped off the helipad, tripped over a metal plate, and caused the heart to tumble onto the ground.”
“I was inside the building working and then once we heard everyone run out and went out and saw it. It was like people were saying, ‘Oh the helicopter the blade of the helicopter was coming down or something,'” pharmacist intern Bahador Aghakoochek told CBS 2, Los Angeles. “I didn’t see anything personally but I know they were talking about debris flying from the air.”
Yet, despite the rocky start, the heart was not damaged and the hospital was able to proceed with the operation. A spokesperson for the hospital later confirmed that the patient was doing well.
Because the story had a happy ending, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the comparison to another heart transplant gone awry. This one, thankfully fictional, did not end so well. On the season six episode of One Tree Hill called “Searching for a Former Clarity,” a medic carrying a heart tripped and dropped it, only to have a hungry dog—which was in the hospital, for some reason—gobble it up, right in front of the patient. The scene has since cemented itself as one of the single greatest moments in television.
See for yourself, below: