U.S. Air Force veteran Chad Carswell was initially denied a kidney transplant because of his COVID-19 vaccination status. With the assistance of Liberty Counsel’s Affiliate Attorney, however, Carswell was able to get a Texas hospital to agree to do his surgery. Texas has no COVID shot requirements for transplant patients.
Carswell, who is in his 20s, was ready to receive a transplant when Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, denied him the opportunity. Atrium Health also requires the organ donor to get the COVID shot.
A double amputee because of complications from diabetes, Carswell needs a transplant because his kidney function is only at 4%, and he requires dialysis three times a week. He said he would “die free” rather than take the shot and that he has had COVID twice.
Carswell said he had more than 500 people willing to donate a kidney to him. Because of his appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, he was able to secure a donor. He also has appeared on many other news talk shows and networks, including Newsmax and One America News Network.
Carswell told Liberty Counsel that the United Network of Organ Sharing has a set of protocols it recommends hospitals follow to determine viable kidney donation candidates. UNOS recommends that no one refusing to take the vaccine be considered a viable candidate for kidney donation. Before the Texas hospital agreed to take his case, each hospital Carswell asked to do his surgery refused him because he didn’t take the COVID shot and, therefore, wasn’t qualified for the donor list.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “No one who needs an organ transplant should be denied because of their decision not to get the COVID shots. The case of this young Air Force veteran is even more shameful because of his service to our country. People should not be forced to choose between their life and their religious beliefs.”