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Toddler Doing Well After Wild Ride to Hospital During Blizzard

MAHONING TOWNSHIP -- Bentley Gingerlowski is all smiles inside his room at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville. This is a far cry from Tuesday, when Bentley's health -- combined with Mother Nature's wrath -- sent his parents and paramedics on a wild ride.

The 23-month-old Gingerlowski has a rare heart defect, and on Tuesday -- just as the Blizzard of '17 was bearing down -- his mother Nicky noticed him bleeding.

"The doctor said if he starts bleeding you need to get ahold of us, it's very serious," said Nicky Gingerlowski, Bentley's mom.

Bentley's doctor advised the family that if he began to bleed, he needed immediate transport to a hospital for platelets. But on Tuesday, that was easier said than done.

"I went back in to my job and told them I have to leave immediately, there's something going on with my son," said Brian Gingerlowski, Bentley's dad.

The family bundled up and braved the storm, heading first to Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono in Stroudsburg, but they didn't have a pediatrician on hand. That meant one thing -- they needed to get little Bentley to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville, which is nearly 80 miles away.

"It could have been life threatening if it went any further so they did what they could to get him here," Nicky said.

The community mobilized to help save the little boy's life -- and Bentley had quite the escorts! Doctors told the family that PennDOT plow trucks would clear the way for the ambulance during the 80 mile trek.

"I was like, what are you serious? Then they walked back in and said the State Police were coming too," Nicky recounted. "I looked at my husband and said what is going on? Then they come in with the National Guard, and I said okay is there something you're not telling us?"

The convoy made the drive to Danville at 25 miles per hour, taking around four hours to transport Bentley to the hospital. Now, the Gingerlowski family says it's hard to put into words just how grateful they are.

"They pulled everything together and we thank each and every one of them," Nicky said. "Their everyday job. Their everyday job saved my son's life. Your everyday job saved my son's life."

"I really appreciate that from everybody," added Brian.

His parents say once they arrived in Danville, he received the proper medication and is thriving. He will remain at Geisinger Medical Center for a few days for more testing.

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