“I was born free. I will die free…,” Man turns down organ transplant because he was requested to get vaccinated against Covid-19

As we already reported last week, Covid-19 vaccination status slowly becomes organ transplant criteria after local hospital announced they are considering removing two dozen patients from organ transplant list because they were not able to show proof of vaccination, something that is slowly becoming trend nationwide.

According to New York Post’s recent article, a man was removed from heart transplant list for being unvaccinated against Covid-19 although he was first on the list to receive the transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. As per the hospital’s policy, the patient was no longer eligible because of his vaccination status. After being denied, the man later underwent heart surgery and was fitted with a mechanical heart pump.

Something similar recently happened to C. Carswell, a man based in North Carolina, who decided to turn down the kidney transplant after the hospital asked him to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and comply with their vaccine policy. Just when his story was becoming viral and was reported by multiple outlets, he insisted he would rather “die-free” than comply.

“I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind,” Carswell told WSOC-TV. “I’ve had conversations with my family and everybody that’s close to me. They know where I stand, and it’ll not be a situation that occurs that I will choose to change my mind on this topic.”

According to the hospital reports, Carswell’s kidney is currently working at just four per cent and he needs dialysis in hospital three times a week. His friends and family have raised money to pay for the surgery and more than 100 people have offered him a kidney. However, everything went south when the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital told him that he and the kidney donor both need to be fully vaccinated for the surgery to go ahead.

“The last thing we need to talk about is your vaccination status,” Carswell said about a conversation with a hospital official. “And that’s when I politely told him there was nothing really to talk about it, it wasn’t up for debate (and) that I wasn’t getting it. Then, he told me, ‘You know you’ll die if you don’t get it.’ And I said, ‘I’m willing to die.’”

“Without (a transplant), there’s no telling how much longer I’ll still be here. I have to have a kidney to prolong my life,” he added while confirming he had contracted Covid-19 twice since the start of the pandemic and believes that vaccination should remain nothing but a personal choice.

The hospital later informed the public they are just following the health standards implemented across the country. According to the hospital officials, they are requiring transplant patients to be vaccinated against the deadly virus because they are at high risk for severe illness if they don’t have preexisting immunity prior to being transplanted.

Since Carswell initial transplant attempt was unsuccessful, he is now looking for other hospital in the state to see if they will carry out the surgery.

Cindy Carey


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