Helicopter crash kills 3, delays heart transplant

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Posted: Dec 27, 2011 4:45 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: helicopter, crash, delays, heart, transplant, florida, wbrz, louisiana

MIAMI (AP) - A helicopter that was on its way to retrieve a heart for transplant crashed in northern Florida, killing all three on board and leaving the transplant patient having to wait for another organ to become available.

The helicopter left a Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville on Monday around 5:45 a.m. carrying a surgeon and a technician along with the pilot. But Mayo spokeswoman Kathy Barbour says the helicopter never arrived at the Gainesville hospital.

Killed were heart surgeon Dr. Luis Bonilla, procurement technician David Hines and the pilot, whose name wasn't released.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Layne Smith says the heart they were going to pick up couldn't be used in another transplant because its viability expired and the patient who'd been scheduled to get it is waiting for a new organ.

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