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Phil Lesh Undergoes Successful Liver Transplant

Press release on 12/18/98 from Dennis McNally



Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh underwent successful liver transplant surgery yesterday, December 17, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. His doctors report that he is responding well to the procedure and expect an early release from the hospital. His wife Jill, and sons Brian and Grahame, are with him.

Although generally in excellent health for many years, Lesh discovered in 1992 that, like many of his generation, he had at some time in the past been infected by Hepatitis C. In September 1998 he underwent a spell of internal bleeding that made clear the seriousness of damage to his liver.

In an effort to maintain a calm atmosphere for his children, Lesh has maintained a public silence about his health until the completion of his surgery, but he intends in the future to become active in work related to this disease and transplant surgeries in general.

He specifically wants to thank all the many well-wishers who have communicated with him over the past months for the healing strength they have lent him.

12/18/98 morning Update from Geoff:

I just talked to Dennis, and Phil is already out of intensive care! Also, since flowers from well-wishers to transplant patients are not allowed, Phil has asked for people to either donate blood, or fill out organ donor cards.