Print 70 comment(s) - last by glitchc.. on Jun 30 at 5:37 PM

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 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.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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