DALLAS – New antiviral drugs that can actually cure hepatitis C are proving so effective that doctors are now doing what had previously been unheard of -- they're transplanting infected livers into patients who are on liver transplant wait lists, and then curing the hepatitis C afterwards.
Kimberly Wilt had a fatty liver that developed into cirrhosis. She found herself on the liver transplant list.
"I was in shock. I'm in my 30's. How am I going to have a transplant at this time? I wasn't prepared for it whatsoever," Wilt said.
Multiple calls fell through, and then her doctor asked if she would be willing to take a liver infected with hepatitis C.
"We told her, we said, 'Look, it's very easy, now. You take a pill daily between eight to 12 weeks, and we guarantee between 97 to 99 percent cure rate," said Dr. Robert Rahimi, a transplant hepatologist at Baylor Scott and White in Dallas.
"When he took my liver out, he said it looked like I was walking a tight rope. One day it would have just completely failed, and who knows if there would have been a liver that would have matched my blood type, my size and been in good enough condition for a transplant," Wilt said.
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