Man can’t get heart transplant because he’s not vaccinated against COVID – CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) – David Ferguson is speaking enthusiastically on behalf of his son DJ. He said the 31-year-old was fighting for his life at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and desperately needed a heart transplant.
Ferguson said: “My son went to the edge of death to stick to his gun and he was pushed to the limit.
The family said he went to the frontline for a transplant but because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 he is no longer eligible under hospital policy. Ferguson said his son refused to take the shot.
“It went against his fundamentals; he doesn’t believe in it. It’s a policy they’re enforcing and since he won’t get the shot, they’ve taken him off the heart transplant list,” said Ferguson.
Brigham and Women’s released a statement saying, “And like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of a number of vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for implants in the Mass General Brigham system to create both the best chance of a successful surgery and also the patient’s chance of survival after being transplanted.”
Arthur Caplan is the Dean of the Department of Health Ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He says vaccinations are necessary for this type of procedure. “Post any transplant, your kidneys, your heart, your immune system stops working,” says Caplan. “Flu can kill you, cold can kill you, COVID can kill you. Organs are so scarce, we won’t be distributing them to people with a poor chance of survival when others who are vaccinated have a better chance of surviving surgery.”
DJ is still at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a father of two with a third on the way. The family said they weren’t sure what they were up to. They are thinking of transferring him, but he may be too weak to move.
“We are aggressively pursuing all options, but we are running out of time,” said Ferguson.
Although the family said DJ received good care from doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women’s, they disagreed with the COVID vaccination policy for heart transplants. “I think my boy fights bravely and he has integrity and principles that he really believes in and that makes me respect him even more.”
That’s why the family is always by the DJ’s side and wishes for the best. “It was his body. It was his choice,” said Ferguson.