Doctor Surprises Teen Transplant Recipient 15 Years Later


Ashley was born with congenital cirrhosis of the liver, and needed a transplant as a baby in order to survive. Her infancy was spent inside hospital rooms with plugs and cords attached to her tiny body. None of the other freshman students really knew Ashley’s life story until she opened up about it in her creative writing class. For her assignment, she wrote a letter to the surgeon who saved her life, Dr. Robert Goldstein. Without the transplant donated by her mother and successfully completed by the surgeon, Ashley had mere months to live.

When Dr. Goldstein heard about Ashley’s letter, he drove two hours to surprise her at school. They hadn’t seen each other since he saved her life 15 years ago. “Kids that go through the same thing, they don’t always make it,” Ashley said. “And me being able to make it, I’m just really grateful to those who helped me.”

The moment Dr. Goldstein walks into Ashley’s classroom holding a bouquet of flowers, I knew I’d be reaching for the tissues soon enough. What an incredible reunion between doctor and patient. I have a feeling these two will continue growing their friendship for years to come.

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