Medics beat blizzard to make transplant happen

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STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Melanie Chirichella waited a year and a half for a kidney transplant. When the call finally came in that there was a perfect match, a blizzard was raging up and down the East Coast.

At first, emergency crews told her Saturday there’d be no way an ambulance could navigate through whiteout conditions to take her nearly 20 miles to Stony Brook University Hospital on New York’s Long Island.

But paramedic Pete Amato was undeterred.

Amato’s brother received a kidney transplant about a decade ago. He knew there wouldn’t be time to wait.

He navigated around cars spinning out of control and took the 64-year-old to the hospital.

Chirichella’s doctors say her recovery is going well. She says it’s “a miracle.”