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December 4, 1991

Sweet Reprieve: One Couple's Journey to the Frontiers of Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha

University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha

JAMA. 1991;266(21):3049. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470210119048

Maybe I shouldn't be the one to review this book. After all, at least on the surface, the subject would appear to be my very livelihood. Frank Maier was a patient with liver disease who received a liver transplant. I am a transplant surgeon who eats, drinks, and sleeps liver transplantation and has done so for the past ten years. So how could I possibly provide an objective assessment of a journalist's chronicle of his experience as a patient, first with liver disease and later with a transplant?

But this book, and in fact its most important message, has very little to do with liver transplantation as a specific entity. It is instead the story of a man and his wife who prepared to face death from a chronic, incurable disease and then found rescue in a formerly exotic but recently routine surgical therapy. The lessons from their struggle that