A doctor's plea on China's social media helped fast-track the delivery of a donated pair of lungs for a lucky patient in desperate need of a transplant, reported the news website The Paper.
When the passenger flight carrying the donated lungs from Guangzhou to Wuxi was delayed on Monday, Chen Jingyu, vice president of Wuxi People's Hospital, turned to Sina Weibo, China's micro-blogging site, for help.
At 9:30 pm on Monday, the doctor posted: "We acquired a donated pair of lungs at 7:30 pm tonight and were planning to transfer them by the flight at [the planned departure time of] 10:10 pm. Unfortunately, the flight is delayed and the lungs' function will be compromised over five hours. Would anyone @ Shenzhen Airlines help us? Please spread the words."
Within minutes of his post, more than 1,000 Internet users had reposted the call for help. Shenzhen Airlines also responded immediately and began adjusting the plane's schedule.
Shenzhen Airlines staff member told The Paper: "We coordinated with the airport to do everything we could to expedite the flight."
At 10:39 pm, passengers began to board the flight, roughly 30 minutes behind schedule. The plane was soon on its way to Guangzhou, a journey that typically takes two and half hours to Wuxi.
While the flight was in the air, Chen stayed with the patient who had been waiting three months for the lung transfer operation.
The flight eventually landed at 1:05 am on Tuesday, according to Wuxi airport, not delayed, but 20 minutes earlier than usual.
The successful appeal marks the second time Chen has used the social media to ensure the punctual arrival for a vital donated organ.