In a remarkable press conference, former US president Jimmy Carter announced a radical course of treatment for his cancer-riddled body. Doctors found a small tumor on his liver and diagnosed melanoma, which was later found to have spread to four spots on his brain.
On hearing the news, Carter consulted with experts from the Carter Centre for Peace, the Carter Centre for Human Rights, and the newly established Carter Centre for Fixing All World Problems. “They reviewed all the medical reports and considered the affected organ (my brain) and how it has impacted my life and the lives of so many others around me over the last few decades. Their recommendation – a radical encephalectomy or full brain removal – was considered somewhat risky but on balance they felt it would lead to a net improvement in my overall condition”, he softly and calmly announced to a packed press conference.
While the process of removing the entire organ affected by the cancer has been used successfully for many other cancers, doctors are yet to attempt the procedure for brain tumours. “Mr Carter may experience some changes after the surgery, but we are confident once he recovers from the initial procedure, we can replace the brain with a saline implant and few people will even notice the difference”, said Dr Ahmed Al Sudairi, cousin of Saudi King Abdulaziz, and head of the soon-to-be-established Carter Centre for Adoration of All Things Carter in Riyadh.
After providing a detailed briefing on his diagnosis, Carter was asked to reflect on his life and career in politics, including presidency term which ended amid the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis and a sickly economy at home. “I wish I had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages, and we would have rescued them, and I would have been re-elected,” Carter said. He was also full of admiration for President Obama. “If I was able to make a deal with Iran that was even half that of the P5+1 deal, today the world would be fully united under a Caliphate, and there would be peace everywhere”.
Despite the limitations of a one-term presidency that left the country in an economic mess, he was pleased with his post-presidential achievements, particularly in building strong bridges with the Arab world. “My children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are set for life, and that’s a legacy I’m proud of”, he said.
Reaction to the announcement of the radical surgery was mixed. “Mr Carter has made some wonderful friends over the years, and we’re pleased they have rushed to his assistance in his time of need”, said Prof. Dan Peer, Scientific Director of Tel Aviv University’s Center for NanoMedicine, and a leading pioneer in the treatment of malignant brain tumours. While many doctors were sceptical of the procedure’s chances for success, most acknowledged that the world would be a better place once it was completed.