Massachusetts Man Without COVID Shot Denied Heart Transplant
Wow, imagine being this poor guy. D.J. Ferguson, a 31-year-old man, is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital. Brigham and Women's Hospital has denied his heart transplant. D.J.'s family claims it was because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
David, D.J.'s father, said his son simply doesn't believe in the COVID vaccine. The Associated Press reports that according to the family, D.J. was at the front of the line on the list for heart recipients but because he has not received the COVID-19 vaccine he is no longer eligible. That's according to hospital policy.
Tracey, D.J.'s mother, made it quite clear that D.J. is not against vaccinations, saying he's had other vaccinations in the past. However, D.J. has been diagnosed with an irregular and sometimes rapid heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation and he's concerned about possible side effects of the COVID vaccine.
According to health officials, one of the rare side effects associated with COVID shots is heart inflammation. In a statement posted on their GoFundMe page, the family wrote:
In DJs case he can NOT afford for his heart to swell any more than it already is right now. He is at extremely high risk of sudden death if it does.
Brigham and Women's Hospital is defending themselves and sticking to their decision. In a statement posted on their website, Brigham and Women's says their policy requiring recipients to have the COVID-19 shot is in line with many other transplant programs across the United States.
And Brigham and Women's Hospital is not alone. Hospitals in other states have faced similar criticism for denying transplants to unvaccinated patients. The Ferguson family says they're unsure of their future plans. They would like to transfer D.J. but he may be too weak to move to another facility.
For their part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says they recommend that immunocompromised people, which includes organ transplant patients, be vaccinated because they are even more vulnerable to COVID.
For more on the story, check it out on the AP's website here.