Apple’s Steve Jobs ‘Admits’ to Liver Transplant

You don’t normally expect personal revelations at a company bash, but if you work at computer giants Apple, and your boss is Steve Jobs, maybe you get used to them. But at the recent Apple conference, where big things were expected, nobody was quite ready for Jobs’ announcing his recent successful liver transplant.

Here is an extract from the Guardian blog reporting direct from the conference:

6.04pm: The cheering and clapping has gone on for a good minute or so. Jobs, dressed in trademark black top and blue jeans, starts talking.

“I am VERY happy to be here today with you all. As some of you may know, about five months ago I had a liver transplant – so I now have the liver of a mid 20s person who died in a car crash and donated his organs. And I wouldn’t be here without such generosity. So I hope all of us can be as generous and elect to become organ donors.”

So, why did he say “as some of you may know”? How come Steve Jobs didn’t go public earlier about his liver transplant? It was widely rumoured to have happened, but not reported at all why he wouldn’t “admit” he’d have one.

I talked to Cim about this, because in my ignorance, I would have thought only good could have come of reporting a successful celebrity transplant. “Organ Donation, as endorsed by Steve Jobs. Register to be a donor on iStore” and so on.

Cim reminded me what it was like for her to have end-stage renal failure: she didn’t want to go public either. She only told family and close friends months before the transplant. Why? she thought if she admitted how ill she was, she would fall apart… Dealing with it privately was Cim’s way of dealing with it at all.

And that’s probably just as true for Steve Jobs. Despite his very public image, he was still entitled to deal with his life-threatening condition how he chose. And part of his dealing with it was keeping quiet for five months and then announcing it to the world when the world was waiting for the new iPod Nano. I’m with you, Steve.

You can find the extract in Bobbie Johnson’s blog in the Guardian.