Hospital Confirms Jobs' Liver Transplant

Doctor says Apple CEO is recovering well, has excellent prognosis.

ByABC News
June 22, 2009, 3:39 PM

June 23, 2009 — -- Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs had a liver transplant at a Memphis, Tenn., hospital and is rcovering well, the hospital announced today in a statement on its Web site.

The statement from Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute comes after several days of intense speculation about Jobs' health -- and his company's future, after a report Saturday that the 54-year-old Apple boss had received a new liver two months ago.

In the statement, Dr. James Eason, the program director and chief of transplantation, did not say when the operation occurred, but said that Jobs "is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis."

The announcement was made with Jobs' permission, according to the statement.

The hospital statement also explained how Jobs qualified for the transplant.

"Mr. Jobs underwent a complete transplant evaluation and was listed for transplantation for an approved indication in accordance with the Transplant Institute policies and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) policies," the statement said.

"He received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available," it said.

Jobs' health -- and what it could mean for the future of Apple -- has been a hot topic ever since January, when he said he would take six months of medical leave.

Shares slumped 4 percent the day he announced his leave and analysts pondered what would become of a company practically synonymous with its CEO's name, and criticized the company for the handling of the health issue.

"The problem for Apple is they should disclose fully or they probably shouldn't disclose anything," independent technology analyst Rob Enderle said. "Throughout much of this period, disclosures revealed that he was at little risk -- that he was recovering from some kind of imbalance. After the fact, [it's revealed that] not only did he have surgery but it might have been life threatening."