So, imagine that it's Christmas Eve. You're with your wife and 2 grown daughters. They don't live very far, and they've come over for brunch.
Your pager goes off.
Except that you're not a doctor. Or a fire fighter. You're a patient with end-stage liver disease and that pager means a new liver. You call the transplant coordinator, and she tells you that there's a local match. It's time to drive down to the Hospital and prepare for surgery. Good thing you hadn't eaten that brunch yet.
So, after approximately 10 hours of surgery, you got a new liver. It's nearly midnight and your family is in your ICU room. It'll be a few days before you're extubated, so you're going to miss Christmas.
Somehow, I don't think Mr. H will mind. He and his new liver and doing well. He's not out of the woods yet, but the first critical days are going by smoothly. Even though his memories of Christmas 2009 will be foggy at best, something tells me it'll go down as the best Christmas ever.