RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - When it comes to organ transplants, every second counts.
That is why Brazilian firefighters said they took a helicopter to the top of a mountain in the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro this month to tell Ricardo Medeiros de Oliveira they had found him a much-awaited new kidney.
Oliveira, a 48-year-old tourist guide who has been waiting for a transplant for nine years, was hiking in a remote mountain area when he received a notification informing him that there was a compatible organ for him.
But without immediate communication with Oliveira, firefighters decided to pick him up directly.
"He would have lost this organ if he had not gotten to the hospital in time," firefighter spokesperson Major Fabio Contreiras said.
Oliveira was able to arrive in time to the hospital and his surgery succeeded.
"It was a huge mix of emotions, I didn't know whether to laugh, whether to cry, whether to believe," Oliveira said.
"(That was) the greatest adventure of my life."
(Reporting by Sergio Queiroz; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Jamie Freed)