A North Carolina man says more than 100 people have offered to donate a kidney to him. The number of local hospitals willing to carry out the surgery stands closer to zero. That's due to Chad Carswell's unvaccinated status. The double amputee says his kidney is 4% operational and dialysis is keeping him alive, but he is absolutely unwilling to change his mind regarding a COVID vaccination in order to comply with the policy of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. The Burke County man tells WSOC, "I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind."
He says hospital staff spoke with him about getting vaccinated, and that he shut the conversation down. "He told me 'You know you’ll die if you don’t get it,' and I told him I'm willing to die," says Carswell. He says he has spoken with friends and 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." The hospital stated that its policy "is to vaccinate all patients on waiting lists or being evaluated for transplant." Carswell says he is investigating options elsewhere in North Carolina and beyond. A piece at STAT News looks at the ethics of such denials; read it here. (A 31-year-old father in need of a heart transplant also refuses to be vaccinated.)