Two great men. Hail and Farewell

You probably know that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, exactly  50 years after the declaration of independence. Medicine has lost two similar giants E. Donnall Thomas (20 October) and  Joseph Murray  (today) at 92 and 93.  They developed organ transplantation, and received a well deserved Nobel in 1990.   I had the pleasure of seeing neurological consults for his son,  Don Thomas, GP of Lewistown Montana back in the 70s.  The amount of prolonged active life we owe to transplantation medicine is incredible.  RIP.

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Comments

  • Curious Wavefunction  On November 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Sad. Another transplantation pioneer is Tom Starzl who saved more lives with cyclosporine than most doctors can ever dream of saving.

  • luysii  On November 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Quite true.

    As a neurology resident I helped Starzl with the neurologic complications of his liver transplantation work at the Denver VA in the early 70s. There were tons of them (mostly bizarre infections from the intense immunosuppression they were using back then), and I don’t think that a liver transplant ever made it out the hospital alive during those years. Even kidney transplantation was fraught with complications back then.

    I’d just finished a 2 year tour as an Air Force doc, and Starzl was far more military and almost everyone I met in the service. We called him the general behind his back.

    Now my cousin’s wife is 1 year post liver transplant and my neighbor is 10 years out. Both are doing well.

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