Coming from the perspective of having received a life-saving organ (heart) transplant (25 years ago now), I found this to be a fascinating read, especially the insightful personal experiences (shared honestly both successes and failures) of a transplant surgeon as this author is.

The histories of each organ transplant story were also fascinating, but with much prior reading, I was familiar with most of those already, so it was the uniqueness of this very personal perspective that added interest for me. Those makers of transplant history each tell a story of passion and perseverance, even when they had to ‘swim upstream’ against their peers of the day, often losing patients either during surgery or much too shortly thereafter, not from rejection (although that was certainly the majority until the early 1980’s when the modern age of immune suppressant drugs were developed), but from other complications as most were weak and near-death to even be considered for the still-experimental surgery. Of special interest was the telling of early xenotransplant surgeries that in fact kept dying patients alive for various surprising lengths of time, but always failing. That is an avenue still being explored in today’s ago of organ donor shortage with increasingly positive outcomes, so expect to see that come on-line in the years to come.

Definitely a unique and interesting read even if you arent connected directly with organ transplantation. As one who is still alive because of a donor who gave their gift after life had ended, I hope this reading will serve to encourage readers to register as organ donors when they see the many positive outcomes in the many patient stories the author shares from his own work in this rewarding field of modern medicine.

To hear an NPR “Fresh Air” interview with this author, click here