NJSP: Troopers whisk woman through pope crowds to kidney transplant

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Crowds line Independence Mall early Saturday morning. (Michael Boren / staff)

While thousands waited for a glimpse of the pope Saturday, a New Jersey woman got the phone call she had long awaited: Jefferson University Hospital had found a donated kidney for her.

But with so many roads closed, hers would not be the usual ride to the hospital. The New Jersey Department of Health called the state police, and by noon Sgt. Chris Modarelli was at her home to meet the JeffSTAT ambulance. He escorted the ambulance over the Ben Franklin Bridge – closed to all but emergency traffic -- into Philadelphia where they were met by the Pennsylvania State Police.

N.J. State Police Captain Stephen Jones said heavy pedestrian traffic near Jefferson made for slow going.

"Very congested part of town on a very rough day," Jones said.

But otherwise the drive was clear sailing, especially with a dedicated emergency lane on the Ben Franklin Bridge, he said.

The police cars had emergency lights flashing but did not need sirens, arriving at the hospital shortly before 1 p.m.

"It was real nice to be part of something like that," Jones said.

On the first day of Pope Francis's visit to Philadelphia, the New Jersey State Police helped a woman waiting for a miracle, per se.
Take a look at the Facebook post from the NJSP here about the incident.