CHOP transport team makes rare international trip to save baby born at 27 weeks

Christie Ileto Image
Sunday, June 9, 2024
CHOP transport team makes rare international trip to save baby born at 27 weeks
CHOP transport team makes rare international trip to save baby born at 27 weeks

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Bucks County couple's babymoon took an unexpected turn when their daughter was born at just 27 weeks.

It was a tiny miracle that turned to panic when baby Logan suddenly needed immediate advanced medical care.

At that moment, the joy of meeting a second child quickly turned from panic to fear.

Joe Offner's wife, Lindsey, had just delivered via emergency c-section at 27 weeks.

"When you were in surgery, I think that was the point in time when I genuinely thought I was losing my unborn child and my wife," Joe said.

One his scariest moments turned more terrifying. Weighing less than 3 pounds, newborn Logan needed advanced medical care immediately, which was something the only hospital in Turks and Caicos couldn't provide. She was on their only ventilator.

"What is running through your mind?" asked reporter Christie Ileto.

"This isn't happening,'' Joe said. "I've been a firefighter for 19 years. I've been through crazy chaotic situations, and that had me feeling helpless."

After hours on the line with insurance providers and pediatricians back in Philadelphia, he contacted Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, desperate for help to get his premature baby to a Level 3 NICU.

"You're basically just in full fear and panic mode for 48 straight hours," he said.

And then the CHOP transport team touched down.

"You could see the relief in his eyes that someone was here to bring his baby back safely," said Lauren Silvestro, with CHOP's emergency transport team.

Silvestro was part of the mission to bring baby Logan home to Philadelphia.

"We have to prepare for the worst. What happens if the baby loses its heart rate? What happens if the baby loses the airway?" said Silvestro.

Logan's vitals were stable, but keeping them that way required something beyond science.

"We talked to the baby: 'We're going to get you back to mom, mom's waiting for you at home, you're going to meet all your family. Dad is here with you,'" she recalled.

"It makes my patient better," Silvestro explained. As a mom on Mother's Day, it's hard not to picture your baby in that isolette."

Baby Logan touched down at Philadelphia International Airport on Mother's Day 2023, and was immediately rushed to the NICU.

Lindsey, who wasn't cleared to be on the transport, had to fly back separately to the United States.

"I'll never forget being on the flight. We're taxing and Joe texted me that CHOP had landed, and I just burst into tears," said Lindsey.

Baby Logan spent 73 days in CHOP'S NICU and she recently celebrated her first birthday.

If you know of a first responder who went above and beyond the call of duty, we want to share their story.