Winston-Salem, N.C. — A North Carolina man is turning down a lifesaving kidney transplant, because the hospital is requiring he be vaccinated against COVID before the procedure.
Chad Carswell is a double amputee and has been undergoing dialysis up to three times a week. His kidney is functioning at four percent.
Carswell said he was going through the transplant process at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem when he was told he would need to be vaccinated in order to move forward.
“They said the last thing we need talk about is your vaccination status,” Carswell said. “And that’s when I politely told him there was nothing really to talk about. It wasn’t up for debate that I wasn’t getting it. And then he told me, you know you’ll die if you don’t get it. And I said I’m willing to die.”
The hospital says their policy follows the current standard in the U.S. saying the vaccine is required to protect the patient, who is at high risk for severe illness if they don’t have immunity prior to the transplant.
Carswell said he’s already had COVID twice and is not willing to get the vaccine, even if it means giving up on finding a kidney.