A hospital in Boston has removed a 31-year-old father from the heart transplant list because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. DJ Ferguson is near death and was at the top of the list, but officials at Brigham and Women's Hospital said he is not eligible for the transplant unless he gets vaccinated.
"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," his father David told WSBK.
David said that his son does not believe in the vaccine and refuses to get vaccinated, even if it means he could get a new heart.
"My son has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns, and he's been pushed to the limit," he said.
The hospital defended its policy on requiring transplant patients to be fully vaccinated.
"And like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient's survival after transplantation," the hospital said in a statement.
DJ's family is now considering their options, including transferring him to another hospital.
"We are aggressively pursuing all options, but we are running out of time," Ferguson said.
No matter what happens, DJ's father said that his family would stand beside him.
"I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously, and he has integrity and principles he really believes in, and that makes me respect him all the more," he said.