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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: Best wishes to Steve...
By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 8:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me... Don't be cynical. There are some smarmy institutions and doctors out there, but that's the rare exception and not the rule (and it's almost never the best hospitals since their reputation matters). You would get a transplant just like the next guy, provided something else wasn't threatening you at the time. Perhaps you'd be a lower priority than someone else if you had 10 years to live and they had 6 months, but the committees responsible for transplants need to make that call.

If you truly care about your life, your doctors will care about your life. The sad thing, you wouldn't believe how many people throw in the towel... And yes, psych profile goes into transplant worthiness (it's almost important as your health). The reason? A transplant recipient has a *lot* of ongoing care, if they aren't fully committed to the a life-long commitment, they won't get an organ.

That being said, I'm sure Jobs will make a huge donation wherever he went. Why? If someone saves your life, you'll be eternally grateful in whatever capacity you can manage. I wouldn't consider it a quid-pro-quo. And besides, that cash could go to save hundreds of other lives.

Frankly I wish Jobs would just retire from Apple and join Lance Armstrong in the fight against cancer. Someone like Jobs could do for cancer what Gates is doing for AIDS in Africa. Apple also seems to be doing okay without him at the helm.

RE: Best wishes to Steve...
By dagamer34 on 6/21/2009 6:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect about the psych profile. I had a med school lecture a couple of weeks ago about what all goes into who gets what organ and the transplant service does NOT consider factors like that (crazy, I know). They also don't consider how you got to be in the condition you are in either, or whether you were an alcoholic in your past life or not, or your ability to adhere to treatments.

Now, before you go spouting how wrong that is, there is a "flip side". While the transplant service that determines who gets an organ does NOT consider those things, the actual surgeon who DOES the procedure can (though it is more in relation to "I'm not going to do a transplant on you because you won't follow through with the after-transplant therapy" rather than the belief that a person is "bad").

Also, liver's aren't as in demand as kidneys. You can survive without any working kidneys for a while, but with the liver, you only have ONE. And it's quite easy to kill your kidneys (which is why they are in such high demand).

Other things to point out:
1) Average wait for a kidney is about 1-2 years.
2) Average wait for a liver is a couple of months.

Plus, there's also a whole host of factors that goes into figuring out who gets what organ or not. It's not as simple as because you've waiting for X period of time, you are going to get one.

RE: Best wishes to Steve...
By ChristopherO on 6/21/2009 10:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I had a social worker do a psych workup for me (required prior to transplant), but if it doesn't go into a committee decision, I have no idea what they do with it... Unless it's literally to determine if I'll need psychiatric services to keep me "positive".

Granted my procedure isn't surgical -- but it requires a live and consenting donor. Unless the profile is necessary to make sure they don't endure any unnecessary risk for a crazy patient? Livers from dead organ donors don't really have that issue. Odd... But then again a lot of medicine is different than I would expect.

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