No COVID Vaccine, No Organ Transplant For YOU At Colorado Hospital
Picture this for a moment: you've been on a waiting list for an organ donation for months, even years, and finally, you have a match, only to be told no because you don't have the COVID vaccine. I can't even begin to imagine the feeling of helplessness both from the patient and their loved ones.
According to Fox 31 Denver, that's exactly what's happening right now with a woman who has been placed on the "inactive" list due to both her and the donor not being vaccinated. Sounds like a cruel joke, but it's not.
Now I'm no medical expert by any means, never was, never will be, but this is breaking my heart for Leilani Lutali at the University of Colorado hospital.
Lutali has both religious beliefs for her not taking the vaccine and not wanting to take it because she has concerns that the vaccine wouldn't be effective after taking the drugs that she's going to need post-surgery.
I could tell you more about what she said, but here's what the letter she received from the hospital said:
The transplant team at the University of Colorado Hospital has determined that it is necessary to place you inactive on the waiting list. You will be inactivated on the list for non-compliance by not receiving the COVID vaccine. You will have 30 days to begin the vaccination series. If your decision is to refuse COVID vaccination, you will be removed from the kidney transplant list. You will continue to accrue waiting time, but you will not receive a kidney offer while listed inactive. Once you complete the COVID vaccination series, you will be reactivated on the kidney transplant list pending any other changes in your health condition.
There's apparently no budging on this process because the hospital rules are etched in stone. No COVID vaccine, no organ transplant. Both parties need to be vaccinated in order to move forward.
Studies show that organ transplant patients are at significant risk from COVID and that transplant patients are ten times more likely to die from COVID than the general public, says KDVR according to reports from UCHealth.
Look, I'm not here to debate whether you should get the vaccine or not. But this whole situation just breaks my heart that someone who has needed something for so long and now has a chance to get it and save her life, but she can't. THAT'S what's so heartbreaking about this situation to me.