Bomb cyclone or not, some people are hell-bent on helping others— this was the case of Logan County Deputy Casey Swingle who set out in the middle of a raging blizzard, to drive medicine to a premature baby and save his life in the process.
As a ferocious winter storm -- a "bomb cyclone" -- unleashed hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions in parts of the central United States, the parents of little Edwin Fischer were horrified to learn that the small Nebraska hospital where their baby was delivered did not have the life-saving medicine that he needed. But a real life hero was about to come to their help and save the day—Deputy Casey Swingle.
“I’m a father of three kids,” Swingle later said. “It was kind of one of those things. If I can make a difference, I can do it.”
It has not been easy for baby Edwin from the start. His mom, Riley, went into labour in Sidney, Nebraska, nine miles north from the Colorado state line, right at the height of the blizzard last month. On their way to the hospital, she and her husband had to stop and call 911.
Officers got them to the hospital in Sidney, where Edwin was born. But he was 12 weeks premature and his lungs were not developed. He needed a specific medication to survive, which the hospital in Sidney did not have, but could be obtained from Sterling Regional MedCenter in Colorado. Despite the dangerous roads, which were covered in snow and ice, Deputy Swingle was determined to help the baby. He picked up the medication and headed toward the Nebraska state line.
“It was gusts up to about 70 mph,” Swingle said. “There were some snow drifts that were almost up to my truck's mirrors on the sides, crossing them, so like I said. I don’t really know how I made it up there.”
He managed to make it and met a Nebraska deputy at the border, who took the medicine the rest of the way. When Deputy Swingle tried to head back in the storm, he was blown off the road and into a ditch, where he was stuck in the storm for hours.
“It was blowing and shaking the truck the whole six hours until CDOT actually came to my rescue with their bulldozer,” Swingle said.
Little Edwin got his medication and the following day, when the weather improved, he was flown to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver where he is currently receiving care.