In January 2009, Steve Jobs was sick and unable to get out of bed due to ascites, a Gastroenterological side effect of cancer. Steve Jobs was looking for a donor for a liver transplantation. He found the one who died in a car crash accident. But here was the between Tim Cook and Steve Jobs.
In the forthcoming book “Becoming Steve Jobs”,
Tim Cook 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. 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. After going through a series of tests to determine whether a partial transplant was even feasible, Cook stopped by Jobs’s home in Palo Alto to make the offer; Jobs refused. “He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words were out of my mouth,” said Cook. “‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ll never let you do that. I’ll never do that.'”
“Somebody that’s selfish,” Cook continues, “doesn’t reply like that. I mean, here’s a guy, he’s dying, he’s very close to death because of his liver issue, and here’s someone healthy offering a way out. I said, ‘Steve, I’m perfectly healthy, I’ve been checked out. Here’s the medical report. I can do this and I’m not putting myself at risk, I’ll be fine.’
And Steve doesn’t think about it. It was not, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It was not, ‘I’ll think about it.’ It was not, ‘Oh, the condition I’m in. . .’.
It was, ‘No, I’m not doing that!’ He kind of popped up in bed and said that. And this was during a time when things were just terrible. Steve only yelled at me four or five times during the 13 years I knew him, and this was one of them.”
Steve Jobs speech after his liver transplantation in 2009.