Officers whisk LI woman through storm to lifesaving surgery
A funny thing happened on there way to transplant. A great story about Long Island TRIO member Mak Steinbock’s trip to Montefiore in a storm with winds and snow.
It was a race for Mak Steinbock’s life.
Amid a raging snowstorm, Nassau County and New York City police on Friday rushed the Atlantic Beach woman from Long Island to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx for an emergency liver transplant.
Mother Nature stood between Steinbock, a hepatitis C patient who had waited months for a viable liver, and the lifesaving surgery.
The night before the transplant, a phone call delivering the news about the available liver jarred her awake – the anxiety kept her up for almost the whole evening.
“They woke me out of a dead sleep,” Steinbock said of hospital officials.
The liver came from a Buffalo hospital and belonged to a 41-year-old woman who had died of a stroke, her husband, Corey Steinbock, said.
Performing the operation soon was important because the longer a liver is out of the body, the less likely it will function well when transplanted, said Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, a Montefiore transplant surgeon.
Nassau police were notified by hospital officials. Police at first considered using a chopper, but because of the snow, neither the Nassau nor the New York police department was flying, said Insp. Christopher J. Cleary, commanding officer of Nassau’s Hewlett-based Fourth Precinct.
Instead, Steinbock, 59, was escorted by Nassau officers Jacek Trybala, a five-year veteran, and Rob Prince, himself a former NYPD cop who joined Nassau about a year and a half ago. Prince drove her in a Nassau police vehicle Chevy Tahoe.
They arrived at about 10:30 a.m.; the ride took about 35 minutes.
Officers took Park Street to State Road 878 to Rockaway Turnpike. From there, they got on the Van Wyck Expressway and proceeded into the city. At the city line, they were met by two NYPD highway patrolmen, and they all escorted Steinbock to Montefiore.
The officers temporarily blocked the exits so the caravan could quickly get to the hospital.
“It was like being in a movie,” Mak Steinbock said at a news conference Tuesday at Montefiore. “It was surreal. It was an out-of-body experience.”
Steinbock, who was still at the hospital Tuesday, said she suffered from fatigue for years but didn’t know she had hepatitis C until more recently. She said she didn’t know how she contracted it.
A die-hard Mets fan, Steinbock said she’s going to treat the cops to an Amazins’ game – “even though we’re in the Bronx
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