Dr. Marwan Abouljoud
In what will prove to be a definitive salute to the medical accomplishment of Detroit’s Arab American immigrants, ‘Our Story’ cinematographer Kevin Hewitt, writer Chris Kassel and executive producer Keith Famie were permitted access to one of the most remarkable liver transplant procedures in modern medicine.
As we learned, the Henry Ford Transplant Institute is one of the nation’s busiest and most highly regarded transplant centers, recognized nationally as a multi-organ transplant center for heart, lung, kidney, pancreas and bone marrow. But when it comes to living donor liver transplants, it is in a whole new league: it’s the only center in Michigan where this complicated procedure is done.
That status is due in the main to Dr. Marwan Abouljoud, among the nation’s top experts in living donor liver transplants, and the operation witnessed by the ‘Our Story’ crew was Dr. Abouljoud’s twenty-sixth, all successful. First attracted to Henry Ford because of their vigorous support of his surgical visions, he was also impressed at their acceptance of him, as a foreign graduate (the American University of Beirut); his previous experiences at other area hospitals were less than gratifying in this regard. Safe to say, he’s rewarded their faith many times over, rising to positions of prominence, as surgical director, division head, Benson Ford Chair holder … and more informally, as Hour Magazine’s Top Doc in 2005.
The surgery we filmed, with the encouragement of both doctors and patients, involved donor Denise Harting and recipient Anne Serra. Co-workers at the Detroit Institute of Arts, both Denise and Anne saw the video as a learning tool for viewers, and also as an illustration of the power of friendship, which donor Denise took into a whole different dimension. Both patients are doing well at this date, looking forward to complete recovery.
Consistently ranked one of the nation’s best hospitals for such procedures by US News & World Report, it was both an honor and an education to be involved with the staff at Henry Ford.