• Chad Carswell's kidney functions at only about 4%
  • He was denied life-saving surgery by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital 
  • The hospital policy requires both the donor and receiver to be vaccinated

A North Carolina man has been denied a kidney transplant by a local hospital after he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Chad Carswell, from Burke County, has been denied life-saving surgery by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem because of the hospital policy that mandates both the donor and receiver to be vaccinated, New York Post reported.

Carswell's kidney functions at only about 4% and he undergoes dialysis three times a week. He is a double amputee who has undergone several major heart surgeries.

"Without (a kidney transplant) there’s no telling how much longer I’ll be here, I have to have a kidney to prolong my life," Carswell said explaining his medical condition.

In preparation for the transplant surgery, Carswell underwent all the tests at the hospital and had several local businesses raise funds for him. Carswell said he had more than 100 people ready to donate the organ, however, had to turn them down as he is unwilling to get vaccinated.

Knowing Carswell's condition, the doctors tried to persuade him to get the vaccine but he refused. "It wasn’t up for debate, I wasn’t getting it. And he told me ‘You know you’ll die if you don’t get it,’ and I told him I’m willing to die," Carswell told the outlet.

Carswell, who had contracted the coronavirus twice and recovered both times strongly believes that he does not need the vaccine.

"I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind," Carswell said, adding that no one should be forced to be vaccinated, NY Daily News reported. Carswell is still looking at other hospitals to see if they will perform the surgery without the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Atrium Health hospital responded that they insist on the jab as the transplant patients are at high risk for catching a severe illness from COVID-19.

"Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s 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 hospital said in a statement. "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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