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Apple observers noticed that CEO Steve Jobs' health dramatically decreased in 2008. Mr. Jobs reportedly has received a liver transplant and is currently recovering, eagerly awaiting a return to Apple at the month's end.  (Source: WSJ)
Apple's CEO and cofounder hopes to put his health problems behind him

Founding one of tech industry's biggest players -- Apple -- and personally turning the company around in the late nineties was nothing compared to the challenge that Apple CEO Steve Jobs faced in 2004.  Battling a rare and deadly form of pancreatic cancer, Mr. Jobs recovered thanks to surgery and reassumed his leadership role at the company, integrally helping to conceive, develop and release hit products such as the iPhone and MacBook Air.

Last year, though, many observers took note that Mr. Jobs looked sickly at public appearances.  Sure enough, in January of this year he took medical leave, announcing he would be gone from Apple on medical leave until the end of June.  In his absence Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook took over many of the day to day duties.

Now details of Mr. Jobs' medical battle, veiled in secrecy, have at last emerged.  According to a report by the Wall Street Journal Mr. Jobs received a liver transplant in Tennessee two months ago.  Mr. Jobs had earlier this year had relocated from California to Tennessee, a state known for having a shorter waiting list for organ transplants.  At the time Bloomberg had reported that Mr. Jobs was applying for a liver transplant.

Apple spokespeople contacted by the WSJ to seek confirmation of the sourced reports refused to comment, merely reiterating that Apple "continues to look forward to returning at the end of June, and there's nothing further to say."  According to the WSJ report, COO Cook may take over additional roles to help Mr. Jobs during his recovery.

Earlier this year it was discovered that Mr. Jobs was receiving hormone therapy.  Reportedly he was unable to digest food properly and receive nutrients.  The liver is an integral part of hormone production, and also produces bile, needed for digestion.  The liver is very sensitive to toxins, and can be damaged by chemotherapy, which Mr. Jobs likely received during his cancer treatment.

Liver transplant recipients have a 58 percent chance of surviving 15 years.  Liver transplants have been performed since 1967; the liver was the second organ to be successfully transplanted, with the kidneys being the first.

Mr. Jobs is currently 54.  Apple fans are eagerly awaiting his return, as he has always pushed the company and given it a creative spark.  Apple released its latest hot offering -- the iPhone 3G S -- this Friday.  Apple also announced new MacBook Pros, detailed its new OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and revealed Quicktime X.  Speculation has already begun that the company is preparing a major refresh to its iPod lineup for the fall.

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RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By Quake on 6/20/2009 1:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
No but with wealth you can guarantee your health.

Unfortunately, this is true in the US. If you're not rich, you'll be in deep shit (debt).

RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By iFX on 6/20/09, Rating: -1
By bigboxes on 6/20/2009 6:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
He said please! LOL

RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By Quake on 6/21/2009 1:32:13 PM , Rating: 5
Why am I a troll? How many people had their loves one died on their hand because the insurance company didn't want to cover the surgery? How many people were in huge debt because of a surgery?

Rich people like Steve Jobs doesn't have a problem with that. But the common people do. Hence: "No but with wealth you can guarantee your health." is accurate.

By web2dot0 on 6/22/2009 7:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
The more accurate statement would be that wealth can increase you chances of better health when you get sick.

The oldest person on earth is not rich by any means or have any type of "special" treatment reserved only for the rich.

It's a known fact that some people have the generic makeup to live longer than others. No amount of money will change that .... yet.

It certainly helps if you live a healthy lifestyle and regular excersize.
No amount of money will change that. Just ask Oprah.

What it comes down to is equal access to health care and equal opportunities. Rich folks do have advantage in that area, but get used to it. It's a fact of life. It's not going to change.

What we are talking about now is the offset the balance so that the discrepancies aren't as large as it current system.

RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 4:58:55 PM , Rating: 5
Earlier this year I contracted Leukemia -- believe me, I'm the paragon of healthy living. I'm also successful (sadly without a wife and kids, I spent almost all my life being a workaholic).

Money has nothing to do with my health. I pay a whopping $95/mo for my *private* insurance plan which I found *myself*, after 90 minutes of research, over a decade ago and has nothing to do with my employer. The key however is to *buy it young* and never, ever get rid of it. It will be cheap, and most young people will not have any prior conditions for which they won't be covered. I think the roughest part is being older, having conditions, and being denied for them (which unfortunately happens, but most of the uninsured are young people). I can't figure out if that's fair, part of me thinks it's like throwing your phone in the toilet and trying to sign-up for an extended warranty so you don't have to pay for it (which is unethical), but the other part of me says that health is a heck of a lot more important...

I think the *real* problem is that young people (early 20s) think they're indestructible, and don't take advantage of the fact that everything is cheap at that age (health insurance, life insurance, disability, etc). The rate for someone in their early 20s is almost half what I pay (which is already less than my TV bill).

My odds at beating this disease are just the same as the next guy. I was nearly dead earlier this year -- a remarkable group of doctors saved me. However my long term odds are worse than Steve, but I intend to beat them. Likewise I hope he manages to survive for many decades. I would wish death due to cancer (or complications) on no one. After having lived through extremely high-dose chemo, those who haven't done it can have no comprehension how badly it sucks.

The long term result? My insurance carrier is going to be out a huge sum of money for saving my life, and I'll owe a small yearly deductible that doesn't even register on the radar compared to what they need to do to keep me healthy.

What I've learned about health care in this country is that you *have* to be assertive. There are phenomenal hospitals out there with amazing doctors. Unless you live in a huge city, more than likely none are nearby. You need to insist on getting referrals to the best doctors (hopping in the car and driving a few hours) and realize that all hospitals, and doctors, are not created equally. All the plans from Washington will never change that... It's impossible to make an average doctor a superior one. Medicine is just too intricate and not everyone is going to be leaders in their field.

Oh, and those same amazing doctors I found? They would have treated me if I was poor without insurance. Sure, the bills would have been huge. Easily pushed me into bankruptcy, but being alive is better than the alternative.

Anyway, before you go spouting off saying, "No but with wealth you can guarantee your health", take a minute to think that some very sick people (I was considered terminal before a last-ditch effort) read it and think it's poorly informed drivel.

RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By GaryJohnson on 6/20/09, Rating: -1
By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 6:18:56 PM , Rating: 5
Bankruptcy is not socialism. In some cases it's people who spent too much and should have *never* been extended credit. Under our *modern* system it could be wealth-redistribution (because of the mortgage garbage and public bail-out, but this is a first-time). However, before the current meltdown bankruptcy losses were pretty much eaten entirely by private industry. That's why at-risk customers pay huge percentages for credit. All the other at-risk customers were covering each others' losses. People with good credit never had this problem because they get choice rates for their diligence. It's just like health insurance, if you're in a high-risk category, you pay more along with everyone else in the same boat (you cover each-other).

However some people end up in bankruptcy due to circumstances they can't control. I think it's utterly ridiculous not to have health insurance, especially if you're young and healthy. However if you get cancer, get wiped out... You can still get treated (the *same* as everyone else) but you'll end up destroying your credit in the process. Like I said, I'd rather take 7 years to fix my credit than be dead.

And believe me, I was one of those people who always used to say, "No health insurance? Screw em!" Then I got sick and have a lot more empathy. Heck if I were younger, I would have gone to med-school with the intention of going into hematology (I'm still considering applying if I make it through this).

By sprockkets on 6/21/2009 12:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
Please educate yourself as to where banks get the money in the first place. After you learn where it comes from, you will have no sympathy for a bank when it goes under.

By deltadeltadelta on 6/22/2009 2:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, show a little compassion.

RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By C'DaleRider on 6/21/2009 1:10:15 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, and those same amazing doctors I found? They would have treated me if I was poor without insurance.

While I'm very happy you've had a good outcome, so far, from your CA, the above statement is just naive.

While you may think that, reality is that a poor patient without insurance wouldn't have even gotten into the office for the first appointment with that group of doctors.

Why? No insurance=not passing the gatekeeper in an MD's group....the office manager.

Now, it is possible for someone to see an MD or group without insurance, but only with a huge cash deposit. Without insurance or cash, you will get seen, but your choice of physicians and hospitals drastically reduces, almost to no choices at all.

And before you say "All talk and no experience," please allow me to give you my background. Entered the medical arena in the mid-70's...earned my RN then, continued my education to include an MS in Nursing. Have specialized in Critical Care (CCRN) and ER. Currently head nurse over the entire ICU/CCU/ER units of a moderately large hospital.

I've also, in my 3+ decades, have worked in private physician's offices, to include during the 80's for one of the most renowned pediatric cardiologists in the country as his nurse. Cannot tell you the times I was awoken at 1AM to meet him at a hospital because a 1 hr. old newborn had severe signs of a congential defect in its heart.

And after doing our initial consult with the infant, if the chart exam showed no insurance, the initial consult was completed and the family would be referred to the medical school/teaching hospital in the city.....and I assure you, the long term outcome for patients in the teaching hospital, getting treatment/care from residents, was nowhere as positive as having my MD's care.

And as for Jobs, moving to a state and suddenly being able to get a liver transplant, when he should have been last on the list for receiving one, just points out the fact that money does indeed buy health. With a few donations to the appropriate "causes," Jobs jumped to first in line and got his transplant well before others were able to.

So, please talk about what you know.....your good outcome with your disease. But please refrain from speaking to MD groups just seeing everyone and anyone no matter the amount of money the patient has, or without respect to having insurance. Just doesn't insurance, the standard of care you'll receive just dropped to almost third world standards.

By ChristopherO on 6/22/2009 1:42:27 AM , Rating: 2
I think reality is somewhere in between your post and what I mentioned in a prior message. Not every hospital is equal, nor is every physician. For that matter I have no idea what state you live in, but all the laws are different.

Also, the teaching hospital in your city might not be as good as a private institution, but generally if I pick any major city in the US, the teaching hospital(s) in that city are always superior to anything else. Many/most seem to be public, which was a huge surprise since I'm a "pro free market" guy and I assumed private would beat public by a huge ratio... Instead state med-schools generally seem to have the best care with the big-name private schools mixed in. Almost none of the best appear to be traditional, non-teaching, private hospitals.
(compiled by 3-year statistics of doctor/peer surveys)

I still stand by my assertion that you could still get comparable care sans insurance, -- because the ER and clinics at public hospitals won't deny treatment (even those same top-notch places in the US News section). For example, another young guy down my street went to M.D. Anderson, without being covered, and they saved his life. I'm not blind, I think a person without insurance will have huge hurdles to cross, but I think those can be overcome with assertiveness.

As for Jobs. I think it's totally unfair to assume money had anything to do with it. His case could have been critical (he literally was wasting away in photos) and he could have been bumped ahead of all those people who had much longer to live. As someone else said (med student below), livers tend to have a shorter waiting period than other organs. Plus he was physically in a state that had fewer organ recipients, which made getting a quick match much easier.

He is fortunate enough to pick up his life, move to the state most likely to have high availability of transplants. I wouldn't say wealthy people get better care, but wealthy people can go out of their way to find it (without risking career, etc).

Anyway, I'm willing to give Jobs a pass and assume everything was above-board. If reporters discover this was a corrupt shambles, then I'll be the first person to be upset.

Why am I giving him a pass? We're in the same fraternity. No one wants to be in the cancer club, but I choose to think that facing death makes someone turn to faith and find goodness.

Is that naive? Perhaps, but I still don't know if I'm going to make it. Rather than dying a cynic, I'd prefer to believe that good people win, and the will to live will beat unbeatable odds. Insured, not insured... I don't think it matters as long as you fight like heck to stick around.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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