In October 2015, 12-year-old Kinsey Capaldo of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, played in a school volleyball game. Just days later, she was then admitted to the emergency room with symptoms of a swollen face, vomiting, and her heart-lung function was quickly deteriorating. Kinsey was then diagnosed with a condition called pneumococcal pneumonia.
Prior to transport, Kinsey underwent a life-saving procedure called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), which provides breathing and lung support by utilizing a heart-lung bypass machine to reroute and re-oxygenate her blood.
Her medical team requested air medical transport to the University of Minnesota Medical Center using Life Link III’s medically-configured airplane. For specialty transports such as ECMO patients, Life Link III partners with the receiving hospital and has the ability to transport specialty teams. This partnership allows the highest level of patient care to be administered in-flight and allows for the best possible outcome.
Stated Kinsey’s mother, Kari Capaldo, “When the Life Link III team arrived, they acted swiftly and meshed immediately with the medical team who had been working with Kinsey. Kinsey cardiac arrested three times when the transfer began, so it took further teamwork and the ability to adapt quickly to unpredictable circumstances – and Life Link III did that well.”
Kinsey was then air-lifted to University of Minnesota Medical Center abroad Life Link III’s fixed wing aircraft. During this time, Life Link III flight clinicians continue to focus on Kinsey’s care and continue to monitor the patient. Throughout the transfer, Life Link III continued to update her parents. “As we drove through the night, the update calls from Life Link III were very appreciated! It felt like they really cared and were doing everything they could to make sure Kinsey was taken care of – as well as us”, said Kari Capaldo.
Today, Kinsey is a happy and healthy 14 year old teenager. Looking back on the experience, Kinsey’s mother said, “Without the ability to have Kinsey air lifted to Minneapolis, Kinsey would not have survived. Looking back at the whole experience and seeing how each person involved in Kinsey’s care was strategically placed – we believe by God – to aid in her survival, we know that Life Link III was a major part of Kinsey being alive today.”
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