Traffic came to a standstill in a major Indian city Monday -- but it was no typical rush hour.
More than two dozen police officers took their places at intersections along a congested road in the coastal city of Chennai to stop traffic in order to save a woman's life. According to local reports, 21-year-old Hvovi Minocherhomji had been hospitalized for several weeks, waiting for a new heart, when a matching organ became available at a hospital about 7.5 miles away.
The only problem was that the clock was ticking. The heart of the donor, who had died in a road accident, had to be transplanted within four hours after being harvested for it to be viable. So, doctors -- in conjunction with local police -- had to work quickly.
"I got the request just one hour before the harvesting of the heart was to be done," S. Sivanandan, the local deputy commissioner of police for traffic, told Hindustan Times. "We in the police take medical emergencies seriously and in case of organ transplants make all efforts to help patients."
In a coordinated transport mission, police officers created a "green corridor" by blocking off intersections on the heavily trafficked street in Chennai so an ambulance could make a beeline from one hospital to another institution with the extremely precious cargo Monday evening, the Hindu reports. After traffic was shut down across 16 traffic signals, the heart was transported within 14 minutes -- 13 minutes and 22 seconds, to be exact.
As soon as the donor heart reached the hospital where Minocherhomji was situated, the 21-year-old was rushed into surgery so the organ could be transplanted in time. Fortunately, the transplant was reportedly a success, and the woman is recovering from the operation.
Aside from thanking surgeons, and Chennai police for making the transport possible, Minocherhomji's family is also grateful to the donor's family for allowing their daughter to receive the heart.
"We have to thank the donor's family," the 21-year-old woman's mother, Amaity Minocherhomji, told IBN Live. "It takes great courage when you have lost someone to think of somebody else."