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Miracle Worker

“There’s a transplant happening today,” said Sophie Lee, a resident, glancing at her pager.

It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was a second-year medical student doing a clerkship on the hepatobiliary surgery service (specializing in the liver and bile ducts).

I felt a pang of disappointment: Now I couldn’t go home until after dinner. But there was no use complaining. I followed Sophie to see the transplant recipient, Mr. Franklin.

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We Got the Call

 
Note to reader: The following is a verbatim transcription of what I posted to my blog the night we got the call from the liver team that they’d found a viable donor for my 11-year-old daughter who, at the time, had a 24 cm tumor which spread from her portal vein to her liver. 
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Showing Up

Sarah Bigham

Years ago, as I left my college dorm room, the posters caught my eye. Plastered everywhere, they announced a bone-marrow drive led by a fellow student in search of a match for his brother, diagnosed with cancer.

A confirmed needlephobe, I’d recently fled a Red Cross blood drive at the mere thought of the tourniquet. Registering as a bone-marrow donor seemed like a terrible idea–but the sibling connection grabbed me and

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