One afternoon, Cook left the house feeling so upset that he had
his own blood tested. He found out that he, like Steve, had a rare
blood type, and guessed that it might be the same. He started
doing research, and learned that it is possible to transfer a
portion of a living person’s liver to someone in need of a
transplant. About 6,000 living-donor transplants are performed
every year in the United States, and the rate of success for both
donor and recipient is high. The liver is a regenerative organ.
The portion transplanted into the recipient will grow to a
functional size, and the portion of the liver that the donor gives
up will also grow back.
Cook decided to undergo a battery of tests that determine if
someone is healthy enough to be a living donor. “I thought he was
going to die,” Cook explains. He went to a hospital far from the
Bay Area, since he didn’t want to be recognized. The day after he
returned from the trip, he went to visit Steve. Sitting alone
with him in the bedroom of the Palo Alto house, Tim began to
offer his liver to Steve. “I really wanted him to do it,” he
remembers. “He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words
were out of my mouth. ‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ll never let you do that.
I’ll never do that!’ ”
If you read nothing else today, make it this.