Unvaccinated man rejects life-saving kidney transplant and says he will 'die free'
Channel 9

A man from North Carolina has said he is “willing to die” with a failing kidney, after a hospital refused to carry out a transplant because he is unvaccinated.

Chad Carswell, a double amputee who has previously undergone several major heart surgeries, told Channel 9 that his kidney is only operating at around four per cent. He currently undergoes dialysis three times a week to help him manage the condition, but the treatment is short-term.

“Without [a transplant], there’s no telling how much longer I’ll be here. I have to have a kidney to prolong my life,” Mr Carswell explained.

The issue, however, as mentioned above, is that the unvaccinated individual does not want to get the jab protecting him from the coronavirus – something which Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital says is necessary for both him and the donor to undergo the procedure.

Instead, Mr Carswell insisted that he was “born free” and so he will “die free”.

“I’m not changing my mind. I’ve had conversations with my family and everybody who is close to me. They know where I stand and there will not be a situation that occurs where I’ll change my mind on this topic,” he added.

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Mr Carswell has also claimed that more than 100 people are willing to donate their kidneys to him, and friends and local businesses have helped raise money for the transplant, yet it still can’t go ahead.

He continued to say that following several tests and scans, doctors told him they needed to discuss his vaccination status with him.

“That’s when I politely told him there’s nothing to talk about. It wasn’t up for debate; I wasn’t getting it.

“He told me, ‘You know you’ll die if you don’t get it,’ and I told him I’m willing to die,” Mr Carswell said.

The hospital’s refusal to carry out the transplant means the man is now looking at other hospitals in the area who would be willing to conduct the surgery on an unvaccinated individual.

We’re not medical experts, but we think that might be tricky.

In a statement to Channel 9, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital said: “[Our] 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 reason it is recommended is to provide protection for the patient. Transplant patients are at high risk for severe illness if they don’t have pre-existing immunity prior to being transplanted.

“We understand that some patients may not wish to be vaccinated. In this case, patients can opt to be evaluated at another transplant center.”

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