A North Carolina man who desperately needs a new kidney is rejecting a transplant because the coronavirus vaccine is required. “I was born free. I will die free,”
Chad Carswell, a double amputee who has undergone several major surgeries on his heart, now faces a different battle – his kidney is only operating at about 4%. Dialysis three times a week keeps him going, but the solution is temporary.
“Without a kidney transplant there’s no telling how much longer I’ll be here, I have to have a kidney to prolong my life,” he said.
Carswell said he has received all kinds of tests and scans from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem in hopes of getting a kidney transplant. Instead, Carswell learned that he and anyone who wanted to donate a kidney would be required to be vaccinated before the surgery.
“I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind,” “I’ve had conversations with my family and everybody who is close to me and they know where I stand and there will not be a situation that occurs where I’ll change my mind on this topic.”
“Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s policy follows the current standard of care in the United States, which is to vaccinate all patients on waiting lists or being evaluated for transplant,” the hospital said.
“We understand that some patients may not wish to be vaccinated,” the statement continued. “In this case, patients can opt to be evaluated at another transplant center.”
Carswell said he is looking at other hospitals in the Carolinas and beyond to see if they’ll perform the surgery.