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When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 4:27am
Pauline W. Chen, MD

A gifted artist in his early 60s, the patient was a liver transplant candidate who learned he had hepatitis B some 20 years earlier. Despite the worsening fatigue that accompanied his liver failure, he threw himself into preparing for his transplant. He read everything he could about the procedure and the postoperative care, drilled doctors with endless questions and continued to drag himself to the gym each day in the hopes of being better prepared to withstand the rigors of the operation.

The only reservation that he mentioned was the same one all the other patients had — he feared that death would come before the perfect organ.

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