In Memory of Javier El-Bietar

On December 19, 2017, the pediatric transplant community lost one of its kindest physicians. Dr. Javier El-Bietar passed away in the company of friends, playing a sport he loves with a great ferocity. Those who know him best knew him as Javi; and those who know Javi knew he is passion personified. He gave his patients extra warmth and cheer – a veritable Patch Adams with jokes and stories and compassion that will brighten any ICU. He cheered for and cursed at his beloved Niners with a zeal that can only come from a hard-core fan. He engaged anyone who would care to listen about his (very strong!) opinions on how to make this world a better place. He would shout his love for everything Star Wars, HR Giger’s art, Elvis Presley Christmas songs, the great movies of our time … and yes, he would also broadcast his hatred for the Seahawks, which “knows no bounds.”

He brought his energy, humor, passion, and kindness to his work every day, and hundreds of really sick kids were all the better for it. One of his favorite poets gave him a credo he has always held dear: “Work is love made visible. And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another. It is to sow seeds of charity with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit of your sacrifice.” 

He loved very dearly and shared this with the world. His love for his family could not be contained, and anyone witness to his posts of the craziness of the El-Bietar kids, or his family reunions, or his joys of being a father, or his pride for his kids, or his gratitude for his parents, or his tributes to his wife can feel this constant reminder that one can be an excellent physician and an even better person.

He will be missed, and we will never be the same. We cannot begin to fill the gap his absence will make, but we hope to give his beloved Nicole, Miles, Sophie, and Livvie a gift he would give anyone of us without hesitation. In honor of a wonderful colleague, we have set up this GoFundMe page for them, and we hope you would share here your contributions and your fondest memories of him.
  • Aimee Gruber 
    • $100 
    • 41 mos
  • Thea Gray 
    • $265 
    • 41 mos
  • Cara Jacob 
    • $200 
    • 43 mos
  • Cara Jacob 
    • $5 
    • 43 mos
  • Rachel Moore 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Abbey 
Washington D.C., DC
Nicole Gandolfo 
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