Transplant Team Dies in Helicopter Crash

Mayo Clinic crew on way to pick up heart
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2011 12:01 AM CST

(Newser) – A heart surgeon and a transplant expert from the Mayo Clinic were killed along with the pilot when their helicopter crashed in northern Florida as they raced to pick up a heart for transplant. The team was on its way from Jacksonville to Gainesville when the helicopter crashed in a remote area, AP reports. The viability of the heart they were going to pick up expired, and the patient who was to receive it is still waiting for another organ.

"As we mourn this tragic event, we will remember the selfless and intense dedication they brought to making a difference in the lives of our patients," the Mayo Clinic's president said in a statement. "We recognize the commitment transplant teams make every day in helping patients at Mayo Clinic and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families." (Read more organ transplants stories.)

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