A man was taken off the heart transplant list at Boston hospital for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, his family revealed.
31-year-old DJ Ferguson was the next to receive a heart transplant at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Unfortunately, the fact that he is not vaccinated ruined his eligibility.
DJ Ferguson Does Not Believe In The COVID-19 Vaccine
According to David Ferguson, his father, DJ does not believe in the COVID-19 vaccine. David also explained that his son was fighting for his life at the hospital, which meant he desperately needed the transplant.
DJ's father told the media that the vaccine was against his principles. Consequently, because the hospital also had the policy to enforce the vaccinations, they chose to take him off the transplant list.
"My son has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns and he's been pushed to the limit."
So far, DJ has two children, and a third is on the way, according to a GoFundMe page that has been created for him.
The medical institution, which is also a Harvard teaching facility, stated that people getting transplants without getting the COVID-19 vaccine were at a greater risk of succumbing to COVID-19 than patients who were not getting transplants.
The Hospital Defended Its Decision To Take DJ Off The Transplant List
A spokesperson for the medical institution pointed out that they usually do all they can to ensure that their transplant patients have the best chance of surviving the operation.
The spokesperson also mentioned that the facility requires patients to have many vaccines recommended by the CDC, including the COVID-19 vaccine.
They also consider the lifestyle behaviors of the transplant patients to ensure their best chances of survival after the transplant operation.
After transplants, the immune system gets significantly weakened, which is why those who have not received the vaccines are not "active on the waitlist."
The facility insisted that its requirement about getting the COVID-19 vaccine is consistent with other transplant programs being operated throughout the country.
Transplant Patients Have Are at higher risk of COVID-19
According to the CDC, immunocompromised people such as organ transplant patients should get vaccinated as they are more likely to contract COVID-19.
The hospital made it clear that the man was not taken off the transplant list due to varying priorities when allocating organs.
After the hospital's decision, Ferguson's family considers moving him to another hospital where the vaccination policy does not apply. Unfortunately, they fear that he could be too weak for that.
His father pointed out that they were pursuing every possible option, although time was also not on their side.
Despite admitting that Ferguson's care at the Brigham and Women's Hospital has been amazing, they also have to consider his beliefs. His father said:
"I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more. It's his body. It's his choice."
Since November, Ferguson has been in hospital.
According to his GoFundMe page, his lungs fill with blood and fluid because of a genetic heart issue.
On the fundraising page, the description also addresses his reluctance to get the vaccine by saying that Ferguson is afraid of heart inflammation, which the vaccine shots have been known to cause in some rare cases.
The page also explained that Ferguson "could NOT afford" to have his heart swell any more than it already has. Due to his condition, the risk of sudden death is unbelievably high for him.
Other Patients Have Been Denied Transplants Over The COVID-19 Vaccine
The page also explains that after several conversations with doctors, it was confirmed that his heart could well cause a severe health crisis.
Nevertheless, the doctors could not say for certain what might happen to Ferguson if he gets the vaccine, although that will affect his status as a transplant patient at the hospital.
Ferguson and his partner are self-employed and have not worked at all since his admission to the hospital. Little has been said about his job, which has been described as requiring "much physical labor."
Sadly, he is not the only person who has encountered this problem over his vaccination status.
In October, Leilani Lutali, a woman from Colorado, was taken off the kidney transplant list because she had not been vaccinated.
According to UCHealth, an organization that runs several hospitals and urgent care facilities in Colorado, the COVID-19 vaccine was one of the many measures the patients needed to take to ensure the transplanted organ had a good chance of not getting rejected.
Transplant Patients Have A Higher Chance Of Dying From COVID-19
The health system has explained that the COVID vaccine policy was informed by studies that had proved that transplant patients have a higher risk of death if they get COVID-19. The chance of these patients dying from COVID is 20 percent higher.
UCHealth also told the media that organ transplants usually come with a lifetime of specialized management to ensure the organ did not get rejected. This can result in substantial complications and even need another transplant surgery.
Death is also a real risk for transplant patients.
Due to these conditions, doctors have to consider both short-term and long-term health risks the patients might experience after the transplant surgery before recommending them for the procedures.
Many people have had their transplant operations canceled due to the COVID-19 vaccine.
For instance, Mike Ganin, a man from Ohio, was denied a kidney transplant in October because his donor had not been vaccinated. Ganin, however, had been vaccinated against the virus.
His donor, Sue George, said that she did not want the vaccine for medical, religious, and other reasons.