Colorado deputy drove through the ‘bomb cyclone’ to help a newborn

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DENVER — We have new information about a baby born prematurely right in the middle of the “bomb cyclone.”

The small Nebraska hospital where Edwin Fischer was delivered did not have the life-saving medicine that he needed. So, Logan County Deputy Casey Swingle set out against the odds, in the middle of the blizzard, to drive the medicine to the baby and make sure he survived.

“I’m a father of three kids,” Swingle said. “It was kind of one of those things. If I can make a difference, I can do it.”

Baby Edwin had a difficult road from the start. His mom, Riley, went into labor in Sidney, Nebraska, right at the height of the blizzard last month.  There were white-out conditions when she and her husband tried to drive to the hospital, so they had to stop and call 911 for help.

Officers got them to the hospital in Sidney, where Edwin was born. But he was 12 weeks premature and his lungs were not developed. He needed a specific medication to survive. The hospital in Sidney did not have it, but Sterling Regional MedCenter did.

Deputy Swingle knew how dangerous the roads were, but he was determined to do what needed to be done. He picked up the medication and headed toward the Nebraska state line.

The roads were covered in snow and ice. The winds were whipping.

“It was gusts up to about 70 mph,” Swingle said. “There were some snow drifts that were almost up to my truck’s mirrors on the sides, crossing them, so like I said. I don’t really know how I made it up there.”

But he did make it. He met a Nebraska deputy at the border, who took the medicine the rest of the way.

When Deputy Swingle tried to head back in the storm, he was blown off the road and into a ditch, where he was stuck in the storm for hours.

“It was blowing and shaking the truck the whole six hours until CDOT actually came to my rescue with their bulldozer,” Swingle said.

It was quite an ordeal, but those two deputies in two states made all the difference. Little Edwin got his medication and survived the night.

The next day, when the weather improved, he was flown to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver where he is currently receiving care.

“This baby is alive because of them,” said Dr. Anna Zimmermann.  She and the family say they are so grateful for everyone who helped.

“It was amazing,” Riley said.

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