Steve Jobs Had a Liver Transplant Two Months Ago

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs received a liver transplant about two months ago to treat some ongoing complications from his previous pancreatic cancer:

Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave from Apple Inc. since January to treat an undisclosed medical condition, received a liver transplant in Tennessee about two months ago. The chief executive has been recovering well and is expected to return to work on schedule later this month, though he may work part-time initially.

The exact source for the information is not provided, though The Wall Street Journal is reporting it as fact and not rumor. They also state that he is recovering well and is expected to return to Apple at the end of June, though may initially return on a part-time basis.

Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple's CEO in January for a medical leave of absence. Jobs had previously been treated and said to have been cured of pancreatic cancer in 2004.

According to experts cited by The Wall Street Journal, the reason for a liver transplant may have been from the spread of the original pancreatic cancer into the liver. The exact cure rate for this particular condition with a liver transplant seems to be up for debate, although five-year survivals for all causes of liver transplant seems to be around the 75% range.

The report adds some validity to previous rumors that Steve Jobs was receiving medical treatment in Memphis, Tennessee.

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148 months ago

why Tennessee?

TN has one of the lowest waiting times for a liver in the country, according to the WSJ:
"Tennessee isn't known as a magnet for liver transplants. But wait times do appear to be considerably shorter than elsewhere in the country. In 2006, the median number of days from joining the liver waiting list to transplant was 306 nationally. In Tennessee, it was 48 days."

The real scandal is that how did he bypass or even get on the waiting list at all? There are very few organs donated in the US. People that are near death are the first to get livers.... Jobs was sick, but nowhere near death. People far sicker than him die waiting for a liver. Patients wait for years for a liver, typically. Also from the WSJ: "Last year, 1,481 people died awaiting a donor."

Either he got a living donor (someone donated part of their liver to him) OR somehow someone pulled some strings and pushed him up to the head of the waiting list by lying about the severity of his condition (ironically publicly Jobs downplayed the severity of his condition). I don't think he had a living donor since he would not need to move to Tennessee for the surgery and 2 month recovery in that case. The ONLY reason to have the surgery in TN was that he wanted the shortest line to a donated organ-- but even still, I am surprised that he got an organ since he wasn't critically ill.

Also, what is interesting is that a quick google search reveals that this wasn't really a big secret. There were multiple posts in the last few months (prior to today's WSJ revelation) detailing Jobs being treated at Methodist (not St Jude's) Hospital in Memphis, the reported home he was staying in, sighting of his private jet, and even sighting of him at an Indian restaurant (!)

The fact that these details were all posted by bloggers in Memphis during the exact time Jobs was reported to be in Memphis, and actively discussed, suggests that it is all true. Yet nobody reported this either in the media, or on Apple rumor sites. Pretty amazing, if you ask me.
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