Jul 09, 2022
1 mins read
Hanks' medical story would lend itself well to a movie or memoir, even if his story is a bit extreme. Or perhaps unbelievable.
A small intestine.
A large intestine.
And another liver?
Not by name had I heard of multi-visceral transplantation -- or the replacement of multiple organs during the same operation. Nor had I known that all of these organs are replaceable, or that the odds of their replacement are favorable.
According to the Health Resources & Services Association, 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. That compounds itself if awaiting for six organs. At the center of the six is Phillip Hanks, a Chicago-area man no older than 50 when he braved the multi-visceral transplantation in 2021. The possible origin of his Hepatitis -- specifically, Hepatitis C -- isn't far-fetched. However, the complications from treating a random onset of course pain led to a second liver transplant in his lifetime.
I recall a couple of acquaintances who I knew who had Hepatitis, but my introduction to complications from it came by fictional depiction. In the short story Saboteur (Ha Jin), the professor's liver seemed to embalm itself or froth in its diseased state. It was very disturbing.
That isn't to overlook the willingness of the organ donors or their families, who remain anonymous to Hanks. Nor the physical endurance, mental stamina, and pressure required by Dr. Mangus and his surgical team at Indiana University Health. They performed the transplants over two consecutive days, which totaled 12 hours. The first day alone was more than 7 hours.
Full post at landturn.com/blog/multiple-organ-transplants