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Surgeon's Viral Tweet About Seeing Former Transplant Patient Pulls On All The Heartstrings

Surgeon's Viral Tweet About Seeing Former Transplant Patient Pulls On All The Heartstrings

Somebody is cutting onions!

A surgeon’s viral tweet about seeing her former transplant patient pulls on all the heartstrings, Newsweek reports. 

Dr. Dinee Simpson was a surgical resident at Harvard Medical School for nine years, training in general surgery Brigham and Women’s Hospital (the teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School) before undergoing a two-year training program specifically for transplantation. Since 2015, she has worked at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, working as its first Black woman transplant surgeon and Chicago's only Black woman organ transplant surgeon, according to the Chicago Tribune. Recently, Dr. Simpson ran into a former patient of hers and decided to tweet about it, the brief interaction instantly brightening up her day and the tweet now capturing the hearts of thousands, garnering more than 273,000 likes. 

“Having a bad morning, stopped for coffee. Woman next to me stared at my ID badge and started to cry. I did her liver transplant last year, she was so sick then. Today she had her hair did, makeup on, and looked FABULOUS. Unrecognizable. Gave me the BEST hug. I love this job,” Dr. Simpson wrote. 



Initially, Simpson just wanted to share the moment that brought a little sunshine to her day, the two catching up as they waited for their coffee orders. Once Simpson sent the tweet, she went on ahead to perform surgery that day, not thinking anything of it. After surgery, she realized her phone was flooded with notifications and the tweet had indeed gone viral. 

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy.’ Then I just watched it grow, and it was insane,” Simpson recalled. 

She received a ton of praise, many calling her a hero, but Simpson said the real heroes are the donors, shining a light on the need for many to go into organ donation so that others can have another chance at life. She also emphasized the emotional nature of transplant surgery in general, noting that even one organ can change the lives of people who may need multiple transplants.

“You’re turning someone’s grief into somebody’s hope. So, it’s really charged with a lot of emotion… Being an organ donor is an incredibly heroic move. The surgical team can’t do anything unless we have the gift of somebody’s donated organ…This is a procedure that gets somebody back to living their life to its fullest,” said Simpson. 

In addition to her work in the operating room, Simpson also is the founder of the African American Transplant Access Program at Northwestern, an organization that works to create more accessibility to transplants for Black patients. Data shows that Black patients have less access to transplants and according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, there are more than 100,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. 

While Simpson also runs a clinic for patients who have received transplant surgeries that allows her to follow up with them, this particular patient was unable to attend, and Simpson only saw her once or twice after the procedure. To see her that day was remarkable, Simpson saying the hair and makeup was a sign that she wasn’t just surviving, but thriving. 

“It was self-care and it was shown that she was thriving. She wasn’t just getting by, she was thriving and living her best life, and I love that,” she said. 

We love it too! Thanks for all you do, Dr. Simpson! 

Photo Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine