A Race Against Time

Alice Koone never suspected it would be the trip to the hospital — and not the double lung transplant surgery she was facing — that would nearly kill her.

Some years ago, Alice Koone felt like a dead woman walking. The rare lung disease she was diagnosed with had taken its toll. Her life as a busy wife, mom and elementary school teacher who loved traveling and attending stock car races was a distant memory. She couldn't survive without oxygen. She was so weak that just taking a shower and getting dressed took nearly four hours. She desperately needed a double lung transplant.

The call she was praying for finally came early one morning in December. Alice and her husband had two hours to make the 80-mile trip to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, a drive normally taking about 70 minutes.

Alice had about 85 minutes of oxygen with her.

Total Gridlock

A fatal crash blocked the roadway.
Alice had 50 miles to go and only 58 minutes of oxygen left.

I knew that, one way or another, I wouldn't be here in two hours.

That's when the panic started to set in.

Then she thought of OnStar.

"We had never used it. This seemed like a good time to try it."

Alice pushed the red emergency button and explained her situation. The OnStar Advisor immediately contacted the local sheriff's department and gave them Alice's location. Squad cars arrived and moved traffic to get their TrailBlazer onto the shoulder and past the accident.

They were finally on their way. But within a couple miles, they found themselves stuck behind another crash.

By now
Alice was terrified

She only had about 25 minutes of oxygen left and was still 40 miles from the hospital.

The OnStar Advisor, who had remained on the line with Alice, once again sprang into action. She requested a police escort for the Koones all the way to the exit ramp. As she made those arrangements, she kept the transplant team updated on Alice's location and estimated arrival time at the hospital.

But the clock was ticking for Alice.

By the time they left the interstate, her oxygen gauge was registering in the red and there were still 10 miles to go.

Alice got to the hospital with just minutes of oxygen left.

Within three hours, she was in surgery.

Her surgery successful, Alice now celebrates two birthdays: the day she was born and the day she got her new lungs.

Since the transplant, she's been able to see her son graduate from college and to attend his wedding.

And she and her husband go to as many stock car races as they can. Alice also volunteers as a mentor for the Georgia Transplant Foundation and serves on the Patient Family Advisory Council at Emory.

"I was blessed with a second chance at life. If it hadn't been for OnStar, there is no doubt in my mind that we would have never made it to the hospital in time. The Advisor stayed on the line with me and talked to me the whole time, keeping me calm and even making me laugh."

We will never forget what they did for me — and every car we ever own will most definitely have OnStar.

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