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.

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"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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