There was reason for Fisher to be circumspect. Until then he had been behind about 30 New Yorkers waiting for a liver, giving him just a 50-50 chance of surviving long enough to get a transplant. But five weeks earlier, doctors at Montefiore had made an offer that dramatically expanded his options: He could get a liver faster if he agreed to accept one with a potentially fatal disease. He said yes.
On March 24 Fisher became the first patient in New York City to be willingly infected with hepatitis C in order to obtain a liver that might otherwise have gone to waste. For Fisher that meant taking a leap of faith that the Montefiore doctors could cure him of hep C, a blood-borne virus that could itself cause cancer and liver failure.