There were some patients in New York that found themselves in a really delicate situation. They were so desperate to stay alive that they accepted kidney transplants even though those kidneys were infected with hepatitis C. They took part in this risky experiment and in the end they succeeded.
How is it possible?
The study involved 20 patients that didn’t afford to wait years to get a kidney transplant. The doctor who led the study simply didn’t want to see people wait so long to get another shot at life. The US has almost 95000 people waiting for a kidney transplant and in 2017 only 19850 were able to get one. That’s about 20% of all cases.
What is Hep C and why do such transplants?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that can go south very quickly if not treated. When you take one organ infected with Hep C and you transplant it into another person, that individual is prone of getting an infection as well.
However, we now live in a day and age when we have access to new and powerful drugs that can be used to cure them. That’s how Dr Reese decided to start this experiment of transplanting kidneys infected with hepatitis C to people that really needed help.
Because they couldn’t afford to wait anymore, the patients accepted and after a dozen weeks of treatment passed, the hepatitis c virus was removed from all 20 patients. When you compare these patients to those that received healthy organs you end up seeing not a single difference,
Kiran Shelat, a man that waited two years to receive a kidney transplant quickly jumped in at this opportunity. Now he feels great, more energetic than ever and there’s no sign of the virus in his bloodstream.