But early on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 13, Allen said that she could see that her son was struggling for oxygen. His breathing was rapid and shallow and his heart was racing. She had called the local clinic for advice. The nurse there was a survivor of hantavirus and was suspicious of flu symptoms in the summertime. She immediately referred Jordan to the local emergency department at Northern Inyo County Hospital, a 25-bed hospital in Bishop.
Jordan had been a healthy, active and athletic teenager whose blood oxygen saturation level on previous examinations had hovered around 100 percent. The physician suggested that Jordan might have pneumonia and immediately placed him on oxygen. Doctors there drew Jordan’s blood, took X-rays of his chest and found that both of his lungs were filling with fluid.
Jordan’s father, David Herbst, a research scientist with the University of California’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab, joined Jordan and his mother at the hospital emergency department.
The first airlift: Renown in Reno
The doctors told the parents that, although he was young, healthy and strong and could handle struggling to breathe for a long time, eventually that struggle would exhaust him and he would need medical support not available at Northern Inyo Hospital. Fearing that moment was imminent, they immediately made arrangements to have Jordan airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. Because there was room for only one person to accompany Jordan in the aircraft, his mother traveled with him. David Herbst and Jordan’s older sister, Anna, 17, made the four-hour-long drive to join them in Reno.
Jordan arrived in Reno on Tue
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