Dr. James Eason, the surgeon who performed Steve Jobs’ liver transplant earlier this year, came close to — but did not actually confirm — that Jobs’ cancer had spread to his liver.
It was Dr. Eason who, with his patient’s permission, issued a four-paragraph statement in June confirming reports that Apple’s (AAPL) CEO had received a new liver. Eason, the head of transplantation at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, also revealed that Jobs was suffering from end stage liver disease and was, in fact, the “sickest patient on the waiting list.”
This week, as part of a long profile published Friday by Bloomberg News, Eason spoke to Bloomberg’s John Lauerman about his career, his medical practice and his most famous patient.
Jobs is “a special person,” he told Lauerman. “He’s really a genuinely nice person.”
The closest thing the doctor came to saying anything about Jobs’ particular form of pancreatic cancer was in these two passages:
And that’s it. The rest of the story is background and color about Eason’s medical career, which was uprooted after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his practice in New Orleans and sent him packing to Memphis. There he found a rich source of liver donors and recipients among the region’s heavily African American population.
In the accompanying video interview with Bloomberg’s Lauerman, Eason once again defends Jobs against charges that he was “gaming the system” by traveling from California to Tennessee to get his new liver. Click here for the link to video.
Apple declined to comment.