They took a woman off of a lifesaving transplant list and their reasoning was absolutely sickening. Seriously, what in Sam Hill is wrong with these people?
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) deactivated a 23-year-old woman from the transplant list simply due to the fact that she hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. She has been waiting on dialysis for a lifesaving kidney transplant since June 2018. The woman’s name is Codie Samuelson, and she now has six months to get listed for the transplant at another hospital or be removed from the list completely.
Samuelson was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) and they diagnosed her at two months with end-stage kidney failure. Samuelson’s father was the first person to give her a kidney, but unfortunately, her body rejected it. However, after she tried her mother’s kidney, that is the one that took and it worked out well for her for at least 18 years. About three and a half years ago, Samuelson’s body started to reject that kidney as well. Samuelson has now been receiving dialysis three times a week since that occurred. Naturally, Samuelson is considered high-risk for COVID-19, Samuelson decided that she didn’t want to get the vaccine due to her own medical concerns and the advice of three of her nurses.
In an interview with the Daily Wire, Samuelson discussed the whole situation with her mother Christy at her side. She said that the dialysis process is exhausting, but it has been going well. However, even though she continues to endure the taxing and exhausting effect of this life-sustaining treatment for four hours or more (and even manages to do some work as a DoorDash driver!), she says that she thinks that these setbacks are part of God’s greater plan.
“I just say that everything is going to happen in God’s time – He’s going to be doing things the way He needs to in his time,” asserted Christy.
VUMC spokesman Craig Boerner confirmed that those who choose to be unvaccinated probably will not be eligible for a transplant. He said that this policy is just one of many for transplant patients. Boerner also noted that there was an exemption process in place for those who had medical, religious, or personal vaccinations to the vaccine. Really? Then how come this young lady cannot get this life-saving transplant?
“We are requiring COVID vaccination as an eligibility for an adult solid organ transplant,” VUMC said last month in her official statement regarding this matter. “However, we do have an exemption process in place for medical or religious/strongly held personal beliefs.”
The Samuelson family said to the Daily Wire that VUMC had never offered the exemption to them at all.
“If there’s a chance we have an exemption, we can apply for it. We’ve already spoken with the transplant surgeon and he was adamant that she [Codie] needed the vaccine,” explained Christy. “Who would be the one to approve [the exemption]? If it’s the surgeon we spoke with, we know that he was completely adamant about having the vaccination.”
The Daily Wire asked VUMC what would happen if the donor or recipient had experienced adverse effects to the vaccine, such as heart failure or myocarditis. VUMC didn’t even attempt to answer that follow up question.
There are more than 90,000 individuals that have been waiting for kidney transplants across the United States, according to the Health and Services Administration (HRSA). The HRSA is estimating that patients usually wait for an average of four or five years before they receive an organ transplant.
Tennessee Stands, a nonprofit focused on conservative causes, first publicized Samuelson’s story as told by Codie’s mother, Christy:
My daughter’s name is Codie and she is 23 years old. She was born with ARPKD (autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease) and was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure at the young age of 2 months old. At that time, she had a feeding tube for failure to thrive and several medications and injections became our daily routine. Her entire life has been about medications, doctor appointments, and monthly lab work. All while being immunosuppressed. She received her first ‘gift of life’ from her dad at age 17 months. This transplant was considered a success although the kidney only lasted 5 days due to complications of blood clots. Her 2nd ‘gift of life’ came from me (her mother) 14 months later. We have been blessed that the transplant lasted for 18 years before going into rejection 3 1/2 years ago. She was then put on the transplant waiting list and had a fistula placed into her arm. Thus dialysis began, she is currently going 3 days a week.
With all the controversy of Covid-19 and the vaccines that may or may not be more harmful than beneficial to an immunosuppressed individual. After 3 of her nurses even warned against taking the injection, and her own concerns, Vanderbilt hospital has deactivated her from the transplant list because she has chosen not to take the jab. Instead [of] helping someone to have a chance to live, they have turned her away from the chance to receive another ‘gift of life.’ Does that sound fair in any way? I don’t think so.
We are looking for anyone that might be able to help us fight this fight. I don’t know where to even start. Thank you for reading and God bless.
Their story went public a considerable amount of time ago, but they have now received “a lot” of messages from strangers all over the country who have been offering to give Codie one of their kidneys.
“We have people willing to go to their personal doctors so they can get in contact with our dialysis clinic to see if they’re a match,” shared Christy. “Maybe this is God’s way of putting us in contact with them. Maybe we needed to be tested.”
Codie could very well be able to find some good matches out there. But for now, it’s a waiting game.
If you think that you might be a good match for this woman, then by all means contact Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Codie is a true fighter, there is no question about that. I get upset when I go through a computer crash, but this brave soul has been dealing with life without a good kidney! So, give VUMC a call today if you think you can help.