No, said airline security, you can’t take this bottle onboard. It exceeds the 100 milliliter limit; it’s forbidden. We have just 16 hours to get it into her body. But wait, said professor Martin Birchall of Bristol University. This is a medical container. Inside is a trachea, a carefully constructed human windpipe, seeded with 60 million stem cells from a very sick woman in Barcelona. We have just 16 hours to get it into her body. We pre-arranged this. We have no record of your request, said the airline. You do have a record, said the professor. There’s a woman in Barcelona right now who needs this, and we are running out of time. It took us five months to create this organ. It is the first of its kind. We must board this plane. Sometimes, leaps in medical science require an agreeable security guard, and on this day in 2008, he wasn’t playing. The guard, then his supervisors, said no. Being larger than 100 milliliters, the bottle was categorically dangerous material. If Birchall insisted on boarding the plane, he would be arrested. Birchall had no Plan B. What was he to do? This is a true story.
Posted on infosnack.