Two recipients of kidney transplants may be alive today because of the actions taken this week by two Iowa State Troopers. Iowa Donor Network nurse Mike Kaiser was delivering the organs to a hospital early Wednesday morning when he lost control of the vehicle on a snow-covered roadway in Poweshiek County.
Trooper Chad Hollingsworth rescued Kaiser and began to transport both him and the kidneys to the hospital. But, Iowa Donor Network spokesperson Paul Sodders says the pair noticed another vehicle in the ditch off Interstate 80.
"So, they stopped to help out those folks and Trooper Hollingsworth called another trooper to pick up (Kaiser) and take him where he needed to go with the kidneys, so these recipients could receive the transplants they needed," Sodders said.
The other officer, Trooper Jon Degen, delivered Kaiser and the kidneys to the hospital while Hollingsworth helped the motorists in the vehicle that rolled-over. Sodders says the decision to call in another officer to keep the organs on the road was crucial.
"The faster that we can transplant any organ into a recipient, the better off they’re going to work in that recipient," Sodders said. "So, time is very critical for us. It was really a blessing that these troopers were able to help us out and get these organs where they needed to be."
Information about where the kidneys came from or where they were going could not be released because of medical confidentiality reasons. Sodders says the troopers’ actions made the difference between life and death.
"Really, three lives were saved in that one instance," Sodders said. "They helped out our employee in the cold, but also saved two people they will never meet." Kaiser did not require medical treatment after the kidneys were delivered. There’s no word if anyone was injured in the other vehicle that rolled over off of I-80.