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Hospitals Prepared For All Emergencies During Papal Visit

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- During the Papal visit hospitals in the no traffic zone had to overcome many difficult challenges, but they managed to pull off some impressive feats - including taking care of special deliveries and organ transplants.

Just hours after a lifesaving kidney transplant, Debbie Husmann is exhausted and grateful.  After 5 years of waiting, she got the call Saturday to get to Philly fast but the city was shut down because of the Pope.  "I was thinking we were going to have to pass up getting this kidney," Debbie explains.

The New Jersey state police stepped in to escort the JeffSTAT  ambulance from Berlin, New Jersey Jefferson University Hospital over the closed Ben Franklin Bridge. Chuck Husmann, Debbie's husband says, "Riding over that closed bridge, it was neat, different."

Guy Barber the director of JeffSTAT who helped get Debbie to the hospital says, "This is business as usual for us, we help people especially in times of need, times of medical need."

Debbie,  whose kidneys were destroyed by an auto immune disease, was among a number of patients who received transplants all over the region.  Medical emergencies were able to move through the no traffic zones.  Debbie says, "It was wonderful."

And Chuck says they are, "Very grateful, very thankful .. and to have it all at the same time the pope is here, maybe an extra blessing."

Over at Pennsylvania Hospital A'Lena Scurry was having her first baby during the Popes first day in Philly.  A'Lena says, "Her name means god helps."

She wasn't due until October 1, but nature called and the National Guard helped get her to the hospital from University City. In the final moments of labor A'Lena  was watching the pope on TV.  She says, "It gave me encouragement, I  was inspired hearing him talk .. god worked everything out and it was smooth sailing."  She hopes divine intervention will continue to protect the baby who weighed  6 pounds, 6 ounces.  "She's so happy, she has some type of grace about her, I'm really blessed to  have her, she's graceful," A'Lena says.

And now her birthday is an historic day in Philadelphia.

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