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Hospital Confirms Liver Transplant For Apple's Steve Jobs

A Memphis hospital says Apple's Steve Jobs received a liver transplant because he was "the sickest patient on the waiting list" when a donor organ became available.

The hospital statement marks the first official confirmation of reports that surfaced in the last week that Jobs had received a liver transplant. The statement, issued with Jobs' approval, did not say when the operation occurred. A story on quotes a source as saying the medical procedure was performed about two months ago.

Jobs was "the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available," said the statement issued by James D. Eason, M.D., program director and chief of transplantation at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute.

"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 policies," the statement said. Jobs was the patient "with the highest MELD (model for end-stage liver disease) score of his blood type," according to the statement.

"Mr. Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis," the statement said. The hospital performed 120 liver transplants in 2008, making it one of the 10 largest liver transplant centers in the U.S., according to the statement.

Jobs, 54, has been on medical leave from Apple since mid-January when he announced that he was suffering from a "hormone imbalance" and needed to take time off to focus on his health. At the time he said he expected to return to work sometime in June.

Speculation about Jobs' health has been rampant for about a year, after he appeared gaunt and haggard in public appearances. Jobs underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and there were concerns the cancer had returned.

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