updated 5/10/2007 11:24:05 AM ET 2007-05-10T15:24:05

Police were able to find a 10-year-old boy in need of a life-saving heart transplant and get him to the operating room on time by tracking down his mother's cell phone signal.

John Paul May and his mother were at a university concert when officials got word that the heart was available. Sue May had a cell phone, but the volume was off.

When hospital officials couldn’t reach the family, they called Pennsylvania State Police for help. The trooper working the desk sent out patrols to search for the family and eventually called communications company Sprint to track May’s cell phone, then sent officers to the concert at Slippery Rock University, state police Cpl. James Green said Thursday.

At the concert, Green approached the director, giving him the cut sign.

The crowd was “sitting there dumbfounded,” Green said. “I don’t think they knew what to expect that the state police were there stopping a concert.”

“I called out Sue’s name twice, and the second time she raised her hand,” he said. “I announced we had to get her to Pittsburgh, to the children’s hospital, that they had a heart for her little boy.”

John, who had coronary artery disease, underwent surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Saturday night. He was in critical but stable condition Thursday morning, his mother told CBS’s “The Early Show.”

“He’s doing as good as expected at this time, but that’s just thanks to all the policemen,” May said. “If it wasn’t for them, if we didn’t get this heart, who knows if my son would have survived to the next heart?”

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