National Guard, State Police and PennDOT escort infant in need of heart surgery

PSP baby escort

A 23-month-old boy in need of emergency heart surgery was driven 88 miles by ambulance through Tuesday’s snowstorm to Geisinger Medical Center.  Plow trucks, state police vehicles and the Pennsylvania National Guard led the way in an emergency escort across Interstate 80.  There’s no word yet on the boy’s condition.  “At approximately 9:30 a.m. today Lehigh Valley Health Network Pocono made a request to the PennDOT Monroe County Maintenance office for a plow truck escort for an ambulance to transport a 23-month-old child from their facility in Stroudsburg to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for an emergency heart surgery,” said Sean Brown, press officer, PennDOT District 5.  The convoy left LVHN Pocono at approximately 10:15 a.m., according to Brown.  Two plow trucks led the ambulance, joined by a state police sport utility vehicle and two National Guard Humvees.  Cpl. Adam Reed, communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police, said the convoy reached Geisinger’s Danville campus about 2:40 p.m.  Roads were snowy and slick as Tuesday's storm dumped snow nearing 20 inches in parts of Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.  Officials didn’t say how fast the vehicles were able to travel or if any stops had to be made along the way.  “They got there safely and as conditions permitted, which was the most important thing,” Reed said.  “We don't have any updates right now on this story, as patient privacy is a priority,” said Joseph Stender, Geisinger communications officer.  Gov. Tom Wolf spoke about the escort during a live address about the snowstorm Tuesday afternoon.  “The child went to the hospital in East Stroudsburg.  It was determined he needed a transplant and had to go back to Danville to Geisinger to get it,” Wolf said.  “PennDOT led the way with a plow train.  State police went with the group to make sure they were safe.  The National Guard followed to make sure if anything happened they could help.  Local emergency responders and medical practitioners made sure the baby was safe while they made the trip,” Wolf said.  “We’ve done what we can at the commonwealth and we wish the best of luck to doctors at Geisinger for their life-saving work,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richard during the press conference.