Shuki Mizrachi has a rare genetic disease that causes his kidneys to fail. At age 42, he had already undergone years of dialysis and three kidney transplants. His body was no longer able to undergo dialysis and there were no healthy kidneys available for transplant.
That’s when Hadassah Medical Organization nephrologist Dr. Keren Tzukert offered Mr. Mizrachi a chance to be the first Israeli patient to receive a kidney from a donor with Hepatitis C. “When you are drowning and someone offers you a life raft, you take it–even if there is a small hole,” Mr. Mizrachi says.
Mr. Mizrachi received antiviral medications to combat the Hepatitis C immediately following his transplant. A year later, he is still healthy, with no sign of hepatitis and a functioning kidney.
Hadassah was one of the first medical centers in the world to perform an organ transplant from a donor with hepatitis. “The success of antiviral medications in combating Hepatitis C made such transplants a viable option,” explains Prof. Rifaat Safadi, head of Hadassah’s Liver Unit. “Without these medications, we would have had to reject these kidneys. Now they can save our patients’ lives.”
To date, three additional patients have received kidneys from Hepatitis C positive donors at Hadassah.