6 June 2024

“Every second counts” was probably at the forefront of Pol Sub-lt Sakchai Krasaeyan’s mind as he raced against time, despite rain and heavy traffic, to bring a donor heart from Samut Sakhon provincial hospital to Siriraj hospital in Bangkok for transplant.

The heart was sealed an in ice box and hand-carried by a doctor throughout the 4-hour motorcycle dash on Monday evening. Thanks to coordination by traffic police along the route, the heart arrived at Siriraj hospital in good condition for the transplant.

The story of this life-saving mission was revealed yesterday by Pol Lt-Gen Nithithorn Chintakanon, the commissioner attached to the Royal Thai Police, in his capacity as the head of a working committee to promote the image of traffic police.

He said that his office received an urgent call at about 5.35pm, from traffic police under the Royally-sponsored traffic police project, seeking support in bringing a fresh human heart, which had just been harvested from a deceased donor, to Siriraj hospital.

Due to the limited time, heavy rush-hour traffic and rain, it was decided that a motorcycle was best option and Pol Sub-Lt Sakchai was chosen as the courier.

Nithithorn said that a heart, which has been removed from a body, can survive for a maximum of 4 hours. It then become useless for transplant, adding that this was the 73rd such mission undertaken by traffic police under the project.

He also said that there are about 6,000 people throughout the country waiting for donor hearts and he urged more people to donate their heart when they die to save lives by contacting hotline 1197 of the traffic police command.