February 21, 2010 – Noor Javed – In a state-of-the-art presentation room in the new wing of Toronto General Hospital, wealthy donors mingle and snack on gourmet cheese, fancy pastries and fruit.
It’s hoped they will donate big bucks to the hospital’s foundation and research program. So the TGH has brought in its big hitter, thoracic surgeon Dr. Shaf Keshavjee.
Wearing a conservative suit and tie, the head of the lung transplant program looks like a businessman, but he speaks in a calming way that makes you wish he was your doctor. He begins by talking about TGH’s illustrious lung transplant record: the first centre to do successful single and double lung transplants, the first to use an artificial lung to prolong life, and the first to repair donor lungs outside the body.
Murmurs of praise fill the room when Keshavjee shows before and after pictures of a teenage lung-transplant patient lying in her hospital bed and another of her surfing a few months later.
It’s clear Keshavjee, who turns 49 this week, knows how to win over a crowd. And in this room, he has a head start.
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