By lex, on December 19th, 2007
The helicopter rescue of young Laura Montero breaks the signal-to-noise threshold of the LA Times:
Fourteen-year-old Laura Montero was aboard a cruise ship off Baja California late last week when her appendix ruptured, causing her agonizing pain. The Dawn Princess was out at sea. The ship doctor lacked the anesthesia for an appendectomy.
The teenager from rural Illinois had been enjoying a vacation with 15 members of her family. Now Laura’s mother, Trudy Lafield, began to worry that their long-awaited holiday idyll on the Mexican Riviera would prove fatal.
Then, 550 miles away, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, on a training mission in preparation for deployment to the Persian Gulf, answered a distress call.
At dawn Saturday, the carrier dispatched a rescue helicopter. Onboard were a doctor and search-and-rescue sailors trained to pluck downed pilots from the ocean.
A problem became clear immediately: The cruise ship didn’t have a deck big enough for the Seahawk helicopter to land.
Read the rest, but here’s the money quote:
Tuesday morning, the Reagan finished its 20-day training mission, docking at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado. A waiting ambulance took Laura to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she was scheduled to stay overnight.
As sailors carried her gingerly down the 20 steps from the carrier brow to the dock, the teenager waved and gave a thumbs up.
As the ambulance moved slowly away, Laura’s mother hugged Cmdr. Theron Toole, the Reagan’s senior medical officer.
“I’m all for what the Navy does,” Lafield said. “I’m Navy 100%.”
Yeah. Me too.