Under Dr. Freedman's careful watch, John coped well with the punishing treatment. But then suddenly, his liver started to give out after weeks of brutal chemotherapy. "It was a known complication that can occur when you use very high doses of that particular agent," explains Dr. Freedman. John's liver never recovered. He was just 40 when he died.
As John's family mourned his death, Dr. Freedman also struggled with the loss. "We're allowed to have I think two deaths out of the first 18 patients or something is what we figured for," he says. "Well, I was figuring on none. And I was not prepared to accept even one." Freedman says John was a hero. His widow prefers to call him a pioneer.
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