North Carolina Transplant Patient Would Rather ‘Die Free’ Than Get COVID-19 Vaccine

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
January 31, 2022Updated: February 4, 2022

A North Carolina man said that a hospital refused to carry out a kidney transplant because he won’t receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and he would rather die than comply with the requirement.

“I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind,” Chad Carswell told WSOC-TV. “I’ve had conversations with my family and everybody that’s close to me. They know where I stand, and it’ll not be a situation that occurs that I will choose to change my mind on this topic.”

Carswell, a double amputee with several heart surgeries, said that he needs a kidney transplant because the organ is operating at 4 percent, forcing him to receive dialysis three times per week.

“He said, ‘The last thing we need to talk about is your vaccination status,'” Carswell recalled a medical official at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem telling him.

“And that’s when I politely told him there was nothing really to talk about it, it wasn’t up for debate [and] that I wasn’t getting it. Then, he told me, ‘You know you’ll die if you don’t get it.’ And I said, ‘I’m willing to die,'” he added.

In the interview, Carswell said that he’s contracted COVID-19 at least twice and doesn’t need a vaccine.

A spokesperson with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital said its policy follows other health protocols across the United States regarding organ transplant recipients. The Epoch Times has contacted the facility for comment.

“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 preexisting immunity prior to being transplanted,” the hospital said in a statement to local media.

It comes after a Boston area man and father of two said he was denied a heart transplant due to him not having received the COVID-19 vaccine. D.J. Ferguson’s family told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in late January that he’s fighting for his life after undergoing emergency heart surgery and is in need of a transplant.

“He got led down a path where they had to stop doing procedures where they said he was qualified nonetheless for the heart transplant,” the patient’s father, David Ferguson, told the Fox News host. “But he had to get the vaccine in order to get that transplant.”

Ferguson told CBS Boston that his son believes he doesn’t need the vaccine.

“It’s kind of against his basic principles, he doesn’t believe in it. It’s a policy they are enforcing and so because he won’t get the shot, they took him off the list of a heart transplant,” David told the outlet.

A spokesperson for the hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the New York Post that its “healthcare system requires several CDC-recommended vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, and lifestyle behaviors for transplant candidates to create both the best chance for a successful operation and to optimize the patient’s survival after transplantation, given that their immune system is drastically suppressed.”

“Patients are not active on the waitlist without this.”

Ferguson recently underwent open heart surgery as a last resort, temporary approach to stabilize his condition after being denied the heart transplant.

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