Racing Against Time :medical commentary
by Dr. Ronald W. Busutti, 1995

"Racing Against Time" is the story of one man's struggle against a progressive and ultimately fatal disease that takes its toll through an inexorable assault on both body and mind. It is a disease that leaves its victims helpless and desperate. A disease which is uniformly fatal, often ending life in its prime. A disease which is neither widely publicized nor has achieved a notoriety in the press that has been bestowed upon heart disease, cancer and AIDS. However, it is just as fatal, and vicious enough to steal life's breath from 50,000 people a year in the United States. It is a disease which Tony Anjoubault (OLT-508) fought with endless courage, determination and an indomitable will to prevail - and prevail he did.

A decade ago Antony Anjoubault's fight against this killer, liver failure, might not have been successful. It has been only ten years that liver transplantation, a definitively successful cure for liver failure, has become routinely applicable. Thus liver transplantation might be considered a procedure which is still in its infancy.

Liver transplantation was first attempted clinically only 30 years ago. I doubt that Dr. Thomas Starzl, my teacher, realized at that time that his pioneering efforts would be recognized as the most significant advance in the treatment of liver disease in the history of medicine. Twenty years would pass after that initial operation before liver transplantation was accepted in the medical community as an effective treatment for patients who suffer from all types of end stage liver disease. Not only does liver transplantation save lives, but it also restores patients previously afflicted with liver failure to a productive lifestyle which we often take for granted - Namely, the raising of children, interaction with friends and loved ones, gainful employment and an experience of independence and self esteem.

Despite the many successes that have been recently reported with liver transplantation, it is far from being perfected. Furthermore, its future success is dependent on donor organ availability. The mathematics are quire simple: one-half of the patients who need a life-saving liver transplant will not be able to receive one. Despite the fact that liver transplantation has captured our collective attention by its known power to save lives, our ability to fully realize its potential is truncated by the shortage of donor organs. It is difficult to comprehend why organ donation is not increasing when one realizes that one donor can provide seven life-saving organs in addition to other tissues. nevertheless, based on the current trend it appears that the need for organ donations will increasingly surpass availability in the years to come. It is likely that until new research leads to the perfection of xeno transplantation (use of animal organs for transplantation), the problem will not be solved.

foreword by
television personality/world famous singer
Jim Nabors

personal note by sports legend
Chris Evert

  Antony Anjoubault was one of the fortunate ones. A suitable donor was found for him before his time ran out. Currently in the United States, one out of four patients will die before a liver donor is found. this fact should be kept in mind as we read Tony's story. Throughout his book, Tony weaves the very personal and poignant thread of his personal sufferings caused by liver disease. This tapestry as viewed by many might depict despair, hopelessness and futility - not so for Tony Anjoubault. His spirit, his enthusiasm and his unwavering will to live have played a crucial role in his successful recovery. His attitude is well illustrated by Samuelson's quote which introduces this book, "My body may fail me, but yet my head never has". Tony Anjoubault is an inspiration to those patients who suffer from this fatal disease. For them, reading this book may not only encourage them to try on a pair of Nikes, but most importantly will fill their hearts and souls with inspiration, determination and a will to live.



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