I Call That A Bargain


  • Curt Tribble, MD University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia




To paraphrase the lyrics of a song by Matchbox Twenty (“It’s 3AM, I must be lonely”), it’s 3 AM, I must be on a Lear jet. We’re heading out to get a pair of lungs for a transplant. It’s pitch black out tonight, and there’s small rain falling. At least it’s not ice or snow, which we’ve heard is falling to the north of us. I am glad that we’ll be heading south on this run. These organ procurement runs tend to violate one of the basic safety rules of flying, which is to avoid, whenever possible, being required to fly. The edgy flights tend to stick in one’s mind, of course. I’ve flown, literally, into a hurricane (Isaac), slid around on icy runways in Michigan and New York, and landed at the same mountaintop airport that was featured in the movie ‘We Are Marshall’ (which recounted the story of the fatal crash of a plane carrying Marshall University’s football team back from a game in North Carolina). I have one of my splendid surgery residents with me. We settle in for the ride south.  There’ll be time for a nap, if I can get comfortable. But, I’m awake now, and I’m reminded of the overall mission that we are on. Inevitably, I find myself reflecting on my three decades as a transplanter of hearts and lungs and recalling some of my most memorable patients and the lessons I have learned from them and their families. Memories and lessons that will always be with me.



How to Cite

Tribble, MD, C. (2018). I Call That A Bargain. The Heart Surgery Forum, 21(3), E229-E234. https://doi.org/10.1532/hsf.2044