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Marine dies waiting for pair-of-socks transplant donor

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SAN DIEGO — Marine Cpl. Alexander Robinson passed away early Saturday after a suitable donor could not be found for a pair-of-socks transplant, sources confirmed today.

Robinson first checked in to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Tuesday morning after suffering a severe ankle sprain during his unit’s annual combat fitness test, officials said. Doctors immediately placed him on an IV drip of dihydrogen monoxide and issued him a straw, as he was initially assessed as stable with strong hopes for a full recovery.

By early Wednesday evening, however, his condition worsened and he slipped into a coma. Intubating him with a steady supply of Motrin, doctors made the decision to go ahead with a pair-of-socks replacement and put him on the transplant list.

“It was a tough call,” said Navy Cmdr. Andrea Johnson, the on-call surgeon. “Being infantry, he is by default half brain-dead, and therefore technically doesn’t meet the criteria for a POS transplant. However, we were optimistic the procedure could save his life, and so we requested the new socks. The issue was time, and if a suitable replacement could be found.”

To buy time, Cmdr. Johnson ordered doctors to rub some dirt on Robinson, which seemed to be just what he needed before a potential donor was found. Unfortunately, a donor compatibility test revealed that the white PT socks were not a match for Robinson’s Fox River boot socks.

The Marine held on for more than 10 hours waiting for a donor, but eventually his injuries were too much, and he was pronounced dead just before 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

A Pentagon spokesman told reporters that the entire Department of Defense sends its thoughts and prayers to Robinson’s family and unit members. The spokesman also added that he would be posthumously demoted for unauthorized absence, failing to complete annual training, and malingering.

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