Will Travel for Transplant

As a trader on Wall Street, Jerry Wichtel of Rumson, N.J., made high-stakes decisions quickly, under pressure, while envisioning and trying to avoid the worst outcome.

"On the floor," he says, "you’re always thinking, ‘How much could I lose if I do this?’ "

Jerry found himself facing his most daunting decision ever in the spring of 2011. A medical exam revealed liver cancer. And because his prognosis was grim, he was unlikely to receive a transplant where he’d been diagnosed.

A friend from the trading floor who’d been successfully transplanted 20 years earlier put Jerry in touch with his surgeon. So in May 2011, Jerry and his wife, Jill, traveled to Cleveland Clinic to see Charles Miller, MD, Director of Liver Transplantation in the Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute.

"If it weren’t for Dr. Miller and his transplant team, I wouldn't be alive."

After reviewing the medical tests, Dr. Miller and his team quickly concluded the earlier diagnosis was wrong and that Jerry should be listed for transplant. To say that the couple was elated is an understatement. They also were impressed by the efficiency and collaboration of Dr. Miller's multidisciplinary medical team.

Just a few months later, in August 2011, Jerry received his transplant. Since that time, the Wichtels have become Cleveland Clinic supporters.

"If it weren’t for Dr. Miller and his transplant team, I wouldn't be alive," Jerry says.

"We think Cleveland Clinic is the most incredible place we've ever been,” says Jill. “This is the way medical care is supposed to be."

Related Institutes: Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
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