Livin' on the MDedge

Transplant surgeon to 30,000 marathoners: Give me that liver


Surgeon goes the extra half mile for his patient

Sorry medical profession, but it’s Adam Bodzin’s world now. When a donor liver got stuck in the middle of the Philadelphia Half Marathon’s 30,000 participants, Dr. Bodzin, the transplant team’s lead surgeon, took matters into his own hands. And by hands, of course, we mean feet.


Still wearing his hospital scrubs, Dr. Bodzin ran more than half a mile to where the van carrying the liver was stranded, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Fortunately, he was able to hitch a ride in a police car for the return trip and didn’t have to run back through the crowd carrying his somewhat unusual package. By package, of course, we mean human liver.

It’s been 3 months since the surgery/marathon and it’s still not clear why the driver had such trouble getting through – he had been trying for more than an hour and half by the time Dr. Bodzin reached him – but the surgery half of the big event was deemed a success and the patient has recovered.

Rick Hasz, president and chief executive officer of the Gift of Life Donor Program, which coordinates organ donation for transplants in the Philadelphia region, told the newspaper that “Dr. Bodzin’s quick action demonstrated his commitment to honoring the selfless generosity of all donors and their families and gives hope to everyone waiting for a second chance at life.”

Should Dr. Bodzin consider a step up from the transplant team to another group that’s fighting for the common good? The recipient of the liver in question seems to think so. “I guess he has a cape on under that white jacket,” 66-year-old Charles Rowe told Fox29. You already know where we’re going with this, right?

Avengers Assemble.

Your spleen’s due for its 5,000-mile oil change

The human body is an incredible biological machine, capable of performing a countless array of tasks automatically and essentially without flaw, but there’s always room for improvement. After all, there are animals that can regrow entire missing limbs or live for up to 500 years. It would be nice if we could get some of that going.


Rather than any of that cool stuff, a recent survey of 2,000 average Americans revealed that our ambitions for improving the human body are a bit more mundane. The big thing that would make our lives better and easier, according to three-fourths of Americans, would be a built-in “check engine” light in our bodies. Come on guys, starfish can literally be cut in half and not only survive, but become two starfish. Mantis shrimp can punch with a force thousands of times their own weight. If we could punch like they could, we could literally break steel with our fists. Wouldn’t we rather have that?

Apparently not. Fine, we’ll stick with the check engine light.

Maybe it isn’t a huge surprise that we’d like the extra help in figuring out what our body needs. According to the survey, more than 60% of Americans struggle to identify when their body is trying to tell them something important, and only one-third actively checked in with their health every day. Considering about 40% said they feel tired for much of the day and nearly half reported not having a meal with fruits or vegetables in the past 3 days, perhaps a gentle reminder wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

So, if we did have a built-in check engine light, what would we use it for? A majority said they’d like to be reminded to drink a glass of water, with 45% saying they wanted to know when to take a nap. Feeling thirsty or tired isn’t quite enough, it seems.

Of course, the technology certainly exists to make the human check engine light a reality. An implanted microchip could absolutely tell us to drink a glass of water, but that would put our health in the hands of tech companies, and you just know Meta and Elon Muskrat wouldn’t pass up the chance for monetization. “Oh, sorry, we could have notified the hospital that you were about to have a heart attack, but you didn’t pay your life subscription this month.”


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