Man who is waiting for an organ transplant has been reportedly removed from the list because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. His family says that this week his heart has deteriorated to the point that it will no longer work on its own. The 31-year-old man was reportedly first in line to receive the transplant. But, because of his unvaccinated status, the hospital ruled that he was no longer eligible for the transplant.
The 31-year-old man from Massachusetts, DJ Ferguson, was first in line to receive a heart transplant. Unfortunately, because of his unvaccinated status, the hospital ruled that he was no longer eligible for the transplant – his father, David Ferguson, said.
“My son has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns and he’s been pushed to the limit. It’s kind of against his basic principles, he doesn’t believe in it. It’s a policy they are enforcing and so because he won’t get the shot, they took him off the list of a heart transplant.” David Ferguson said.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital confirmed its decision to remove the 31-year-old man from the list. They released the following statement:
“Like many other transplant programs in the United States — the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation.”
DJ’s family is now considering every option to save their son. They are reportedly looking for a different hospital facility that doesn’t have a vaccine requirement in place. Unfortunately, the transfer could be dangerous because the 31-year-old man is reportedly too weak to move.
DJ, who has a hereditary heart condition that causes his lungs and heart to fill with blood and fluid, is a father of two children with a third child on the way. His family said that they just don’t agree with the hospital’s vaccination policy.
David Ferguson 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.”
According to reports, Dr. Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, sided with the hospital’s decision, explaining that transplant patients are at particular risk due to a compromised immune system. He reportedly said:
“Post any transplant, kidney, heart whatever, your immune system is shut off. The flu could kill you, a cold could kill you, COVID could kill you. The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving.”
David Ferguson also said: “We have had many conversations with the doctors, who confirmed that his heart COULD swell and go into severe crisis but they can’t guarantee anything and it’s a choice we will have to make if he wants to be listed.”