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Transplant helped tour manager stay on the road

Jan. 23, 2020, 9:34 AM

Former patient Robin Majors was among those who attended last week’s 30th anniversary celebration for the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.
Former patient Robin Majors was among those who attended last week’s 30th anniversary celebration for the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. (photo by Susan Urmy)

by Matt Batcheldor

Robin Majors, who is getting ready for his 15th gig as country music star Kenny Chesney’s assistant tour manager, has a very personal reason to celebrate the Vanderbilt Transplant Center’s 30th anniversary. He has one of the 2,200-plus livers that Vanderbilt has transplanted since starting in 1990.

Six years ago, he was fighting for his life with inoperable liver cancer. In January 2014, he was placed on the transplant list at Vanderbilt. “They said you’re No. 22 on the list, and it should be about six months,” he said.

Thirteen days later, Majors was in the barn on his Mt. Juliet, Tennessee property. He missed the call from Vanderbilt. His wife, Misty, rushed to him with the news — a matching liver was available right now.

They hurried to Vanderbilt, where he received his new liver, transplanted by surgeon Lee Gorden, MD, professor of Surgery.

Coincidentally, Chesney was off the road during most of Majors’ recovery. Majors rejoined him 13 months after his transplant, thanks to his wife and caregiver, Misty, and he hasn’t looked back.

“I feel great,” said Majors, whose long tenure in the music industry started with the Marshall Tucker Band in the 1970s. “I probably worry more about the way I feel because of the transplant and I forget the factor that I’m 64 years old. There are things that are going to happen to you medically anyway in this world. I feel pretty blessed about the whole deal.”

Majors first began his care at Vanderbilt when he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, prior to the cancer diagnosis.

“When my primary care doctor asked me where I wanted to go for further testing for what started as Hepatitis C, my only choice was Vanderbilt,” he said.

Majors comes back to Vanderbilt for tests four times every year, where he sees Roman Perri, MD, assistant professor of Medicine.

“I can’t say enough about him, or Heather O’Dell (ANP-BC, MMHC), my nurse practitioner,” he said.

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