Race against time: Man is rushed off Martha’s Vineyard to get Boston liver transplant

The call came in the middle of the night: the liver that the Martha’s Vineyard man had been waiting for was suddenly available. He had to get off the island.

He “was at the top of the list for a liver transplant,” said State Police spokesman Dave Procopio in a statement. “Time was of the essence.”

The man’s wife called State Police at 1:50 a.m. today, Procopio said, and asked for an escort from Woods Hole in Falmouth to Massachusetts General Hospital.

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The couple was rushed by boat from the Vineyard to Woods Hole by a harbormaster, Procopio said, where a state trooper and a Cape Cod Ambulance waited at the ready.

The ambulance and cruiser left Woods Hole just after 2:10 a.m., he said, and were joined by another trooper at the Braintree split on I-93.

At 3:05 a.m., less than 1½ hours after the initial phone call, the man made it safely to the hospital for the transplant operation.

A hospital spokeswoman said she did not have any information on the man’s condition. Police did not identify the couple by name.