That said, the job pays spades in stories and life lessons. And/or haunting nightmares.
Occasionally, the corpses are still wearing shoes and you get the unsettling realization that the person whose leg bone you just removed tied them that morning. And while, statistically, most donors are over 60, operating on children isn’t at all uncommon (about 1,400 donors in 2014 were kids). Specialists note that those images stay with them forever.
“It makes you think about consequences of your [daily] actions when you go and operate on someone who was alive 24 hours ago,” Lubbock says. “It gives you a sense of mortality and makes you grow up a little bit.”
After a while, though, like everything else -- it becomes just a job. “I’m sure it'd be different if I walked in on someone I knew,” says Lubbock, “But there were a lot of nights you’d just find yourself cutting people open and watching Seinfeld.”