“It looks as though someone has slapped three pounds of wet clay onto his face, where it clings, burying the boy inside. But Sam, the boy behind the mask, peers out from the right eye. It is clear, perfectly formed and a deep, penetrating brown.”
Romantic complications between a surgical coordinator and a brilliant transplant specialist.
"I hadn’t wanted Clara at first, at least no more than any other woman I’d casually slept with. Too bony, too neurotic. Too pale. But when she asked for a ride home from the dinner party where we met, I drove, intrigued at the prospect of UCSF’s top heart-transplant surgeon debasing herself with a med school dropout-turned-cellist."
The aftermath of a back alley operation.
" He was lying in a tub with a gash around his gut that looked badly sewn up and possibly infected. The stitching was so poor that it mirrored the seams on a homemade football done left-handed. Ugly zigzags. The tub was floating full of Pabst and Budweiser cans. No ice, just cans and lukewarm water the color of weak coffee doing the cooling."
How doctors tried, and failed, to save President Kennedy.
How a surgical innovation allowed Dallas Weins to find a new face.