Years ago, our head of trauma surgery developed explosive hepatitis. As a result, he developed failure of his liver and required a liver transplant.
This was before we had a liver transplantation program at Henry Ford Hospital.
One of the surgeon’s best friends ran one of the most successful transplantation programs in the country at a large Midwestern university. He was accepted there for urgent consideration of liver transplantation.
We stabilized him in our medical intensive care unit and prepped him to be flown by aircraft to the center.
As he was wheeled out of the ICU, I stopped the gurney and took his hand in mine. I said, “I’ll see you when you get back.”
Even with jaundiced eyes, his gaze pierced through me. “We’ll see,” he said.
He died within a few days. No organs were available.
Flash forward a few years. Continue reading