An Iowa state trooper made a life-saving special delivery Wednesday evening to a teenager in Mason City.
“This amazing State Trooper saved the day at our house,” Cassie Helland said on Facebook.
Her son, Caleb, was supposed to receive anti-seizure medication via FedEx overnight Tuesday but it never arrived.
The medication, Epidiolex, which is a CBD oil, can only be filled at the Iowa City pharmacy.
When she called in for a refill and they agreed to mail the medication to him rather than have her drive the 2.5 hours each way to pick it up.
When the shipment did not arrive Wednesday morning, Helland called the pharmacy to try to track it down.
“My son has to have this, so, I’m freaking out,” she said. “This is my son’s seizure medication. It’s serious.”
Helland said the pharmacy told her the medication was stuck at the FedEx facility.
“We had the understanding that we kind of had a crisis,” Interim Specialty Pharmacy Manager Alex Mersch said.
The pharmacy made a new batch of the medication and contacted Iowa State Patrol. They arrived 10 to 15 minutes later, according to Mersch.
“We’re so, so happy that we were able to assist the patient,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Iowa State Patrol.”
The State Patrol flew the medication from Iowa City to the Mason City Municipal Airport where Trooper Robert Sankey picked it up and drove to Helland’s home.
“This gentleman drove it straight to our house this evening so that Caleb would not miss a dose," Helland said. “If he were to miss a dose, I don’t know what would happen. I’m so grateful.”
The pharmacy called at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to say Sankey would deliver it and he arrived at 5:30 p.m., Helland said.
“The state trooper came,” she said. “I don’t know how we could have gotten it and I’m so beyond grateful.”
Mersch said the pharmacy does occasionally have a situation where they have to get medication to a patient quickly but rarely have to deliver it so far.
“It’s always nice when you do something for good,” Sankey said. “Anything we do to try to help, that’s what we got into this for.”
Sankey said he passed out Iowa State Patrol stickers to the children in the home and was happy to take a picture with Caleb.
When Caleb was 10 years old, he was having roughly 10 atonic, or “head drop,” seizures per day as a result of his intractable epilepsy.
Thanks to the cannabis oil treatments, which do not have THC, his atonic seizures stopped.
The medication is now FDA-approved but is only available in one place in the state.
“The pharmaceutical company is so strict that we can only get it there,” Helland said. “We should be able to get it locally by now but I’m hoping that eventually we will be able to.”
Helland’s photo of Sankey with her son and the story took off on Facebook.
As of Thursday afternoon, the post received more than 11,000 likes, 2,400 shares and about 900 comments.
“It was a huge help to us, I mean, he’s amazing,” Helland said. “I don’t hear stories like that.”
Sankey was surprised at how much attention the post had received.
“There’s so much more to the job that people don’t see,” he said. “It was an honor.”
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We're not sure if this "officially" marks the end of road construction season or not, but the bridge over Willow Creek on 12th Street NW has been reopened today. We appreciate your patience! (Thanks to https://t.co/Ey6kIDgQs1 for helping us illustrate our excitement.) 2701 pic.twitter.com/wV7GmtLhmI— Mason City Police (@MasonCityPD) December 3, 2018