Doctors Transplant a Heart After It's Been Dropped in the Street


Here's a story that really tests the limits of the five-second rule. A heart was being transported to a hospital in Mexico City to be transplanted into a patient there. After it was unloaded from the helicopter outside the hospital, the lid of the cooler it was in came loose, and the heart feel out onto the street. Yikes! Unfazed, they picked the heart up, and the doctors proceeded to stick it in the patient. Of course, the heart was wrapped in plastic, so it's not totally insane—not to mention hearts are such precious commodities that even if it'd landed in a pile of dog shit, they probably would have been totally justified in picking it up, washing the hell out of it, and then transplanting it.

Fortunately for everyone, the transplant was successful, and now 28-year-old Erika Hernandez, who was born with a congenital heart defect, has the heart of a man who was killed in a car accident. The thing is, she doesn't know yet that the heart was dropped. That must be why she's smiling so serenely. The doctors have left the decision about when to tell her up to her family. So for now she's blissfully ignorant—though I doubt she'd have turned the heart down if she'd known it was dropped beforehand. Still, let's hope she's not a germaphobe, or she'll have to spend the rest of her life fretting that there's some speck of dirt or street grime lodged in her chest.

Transplant of dropped heart is success - but smiling patient doesn't know what happened [MSNBC]