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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: good luck to him
By geekfool on 6/20/2009 2:36:58 PM , Rating: 4
I think it was a waste of a good liver. Even ignoring the terrible business practices that he helps perpetuate, you still have to take into account that the guy was diagnosed and treated for pancreatic cancer, and that it makes logical sense to assume that whatever was wrong with his liver was probably catalyzed by the cancer. Sure, they can give him a new one, but how long before some of his other organs start failing for the same reason? How long until the new one succumbs to the same factors that destroyed his original liver? His prognosis was poor to begin with, and I think it's unlikely that this liver transplant is going to be the end of his health issues. I think a better use could have been found for the donor liver.

Now I'm not saying he should have been inelligible for the transplant, just that his pre-existing issues should have been considered when deciding who to assign the donor organ to. If there were other patients on the list who needed transplants and who didn't have serious pre-existing issues like pancreatic cancer, they should have gone first, because they would have better odds of long-term survival. And if there were no other patients on the list with better chances of long-term survival, then by all means give the liver to the guy with pancreatic cancer. But in any other case doing so is just wasteful. You're potentially cutting another patient's life short by a decade or more so that a less suitable candidate can have theirs extended by a handful of years.


RE: good luck to him
By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 7:29:00 PM , Rating: 5
As someone in queue for a donation... This is a misinformed post. Everyone who needs an organ, or marrow, needs it for some extenuating circumstance. Unless you're very old, rarely do organs spontaneously fail. Liver failure due to chemo is not uncommon. Depending on the protocol he received, it could totally destroy either the liver or the kidneys, it's also possible for last-ditch breast cancer treatment to destroy bone marrow. Many people in queue for liver transplants are cancer patients who received chemo and/or radiation. Also, beyond a certain age, you'll be automatically disqualified (so a lot of older people who need organs would never receive them because their life expectancy just isn't that long regardless).

Also, don't presume he received favorable treatment. Matching organs is difficult... The reason he received a liver so soon could be entirely due to the fact that his protein and blood markers made it easy. Put it this way, if you're blood type AB, you're going to wait darn near forever and almost *everyone* is going to line-jump ahead of you. If you're O+ then you have a much greater chance of finding a match (and the process isn't that simple, it requires other factors to be a good match).

And believe me, based on the way a transplant committee works, they aren't going to consider you for transplant unless you're showing full cancer remission. If he went to Tennessee he was probably treated at Vanderbilt -- world class medical institutions rarely compromise their integrity. They would destroy their reputations in the process and the malpractice would be staggering. It's also totally wrong to assume he was anything other than the best recipient. Unless you have an MD and know his exact circumstance (and aren't telling) you have no right to decide who lives and dies. Pardon me for being so sensitive on the subject, but for obvious reasons it's quite personal.


RE: good luck to him
By Snow01 on 6/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: good luck to him
By ChristopherO on 6/21/2009 1:30:45 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
O blood type is a universal donor, not acceptor. AB is a universal acceptor.


Yep, that's true. However you have it totally backwards... I never said I'm a solid organ recipient, just going to be a marrow recipient.

I can get A positive marrow because the blood in my organs is O positive. Thus I actually donate my old O-blood to my "new" marrow and type (type matching is not necessary with marrow donations, only high resolution DNA, provided you don't go the wrong way on the type-classification).

However, you can't put A blood in an O body. Meaning I can't get O marrow *if* I already had A marrow to begin with. Because all the blood in your system would already be type-A. Meaning an A blood type has a heck of a lot harder chance at finding a marrow donor than an O. AB is of course the worst since you can only use an AB marrow donor.

For example, if I were to go from A marrow (my new type) back to O (my old type), my organs would be flooded with new O blood. As soon as the new marrow, "O" started producing blood, I'd clot and die since the A type already present in the organs would kill me. A can't donate blood to O, as you said.

Essentially marrow donation flips the rule. Yes, you are correct that an O organ could go to any blood type (but generally wouldn't except in the most extreme cases since type and cross is important and some people still have an allergic reaction to an off-type they should in theory be able to accept). The only exception to this rule is platelets -- you can accept any type since it doesn't follow the same rules as hemoglobin, however you can still have a reaction and destroy off-type platelets but they wouldn't be fatal.

Your conspiracy theories are admirable but untrue. How about you accept the fact there can be sick 30-somethings in the world and sometimes crappy happens? Do you think I'm happy to have this disease? Are you kidding me? I went into the hospital in early February with a WBC count of 70, where 90% of the count were blast cells. I had a sinus infection for 3 weeks and thought I needed antibiotics. Instead I had cancer.


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