Surgeon uses ‘heroic feet’ to retrieve donated liver

by mcardinal

Curt Flewelling, FISM News


Renowned transplant surgeon Adam Bodzin can now add “organ retriever” to the impressive list of accomplishments on his Curriculum Vitae (CV). The talented doctor was all set to perform a life-saving liver transplant surgery when a big problem arose.  The donated organ needed to complete the surgery was on a transport vehicle that was stuck in traffic!

Time was of the essence as Dr. Bodzin’s patient, Charles Rowe, was prepped and ready for surgery. In a move that can only be described as above and beyond the call of duty, the determined doctor took off running through snarled city traffic to fetch his patient’s new liver.

This would be next to impossible in any major city, but add to the challenge the fact that the Philadelphia marathon was in progress and you have the stuff Hollywood scripts are made of. All access points to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital were virtually impassable as the roads were teeming with thousands of runners.

The surgeon, clad in his white lab coat, scrubs, and a pair of old running shoes strapped to his “heroic feet,” ran for a half mile, undaunted by numerous obstacles.

He told Fox 29 News reporter Monica Evans, “I had flagged down a police officer before I crossed the marathon, thankfully who agreed to drive me back if I can get the liver. I think people are probably looking at me a little more odd carrying the box through.”

Mr. Rowe, upon learning of his doctor’s exploits, told Fox 29 News, “He’s amazing. He’s a really amazing doctor. He went beyond the call of duty. I guess he has a cape on under that white jacket.”

The 66-year-old went on to say, “I’m really grateful for what he did because if he had not gotten it in me, I would not have gotten the liver and I would have been waiting again and who knows what would have transpired between that time with my body and everything.”

Dr. Bodzin hopes this unique story will bring attention to the need for more organ donors. According to Donate Life America, while 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 54% are actually registered donors. The sad reality is that there are far more people needing a transplant than there are organs available.

Penn Medicine’s Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery, Kim Olthoff, MD, stated this on the Penn Medicine Transplant Update blog: “If more people designate donation on their driver’s licenses, or more people talk about the decision to be an organ donor with their families and loved ones, or more people decided to selflessly participate in living donation, we would be able to save so many more lives through transplantation.”