Affected person, donor, refuses to have kidney transplant as a result of he’s not vaccinated – CBS Pittsburgh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado woman with stage 5 kidney failure was months away from getting a new kidney. Now she and her donor are looking for another hospital after learning about UCHealth’s new policy.

Most transplant recipients and living donors now need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to UCHealth (University of Colorado Health). None of the women received their shots.

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Leilani Lutali met her donor Jaimee Fougner 10 months ago while studying the Bible.

(Credit: Leilani Lutali and Jaimee Fougner)

“It is up to you what treatment you have. In Leilani’s case, she was denied the choice. Because of that mandate, her life has now been taken hostage, ”said Fougner.

Fougner says she didn’t get the vaccine for religious reasons. Lutali didn’t get the shot because she says there are too many strangers. Until last week, none of the women thought they needed to be vaccinated for the transplant.

“At the end of August, they confirmed that no COVID vaccination was required at the time,” Lutali said. “Fast forward to September 28th. That’s where I found out. Jamie has learned that they have this policy around COVID vaccination for both the donor and the recipient.

The women received this letter from UCHealth:

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(Credit: Leilani Lutali)

UCHealth says they are “not compliant by not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine”. The hospital gave them 30 days to start the series of vaccinations. If they refuse, they will be removed from the kidney transplant list.

“I said I am signing a medical waiver. I have to sign a transplant waiver myself anyway to rid them of anything that could possibly go wrong, ”Lutali said. “It’s an operation, it’s invasive. I am signing a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID vaccination. “

UCHealth recently introduced the policy to protect the health of its patients.

In a statement, UCHealth said:

“For transplant patients who become infected with COVID-19, the mortality rate is between about 20% and more than 30%. This shows the extreme risk that COVID-19 poses to transplant recipients after their operations. “

UCHealth and transplant centers across the country have requirements for protecting surgical patients. For example, patients may be required to have other vaccinations such as hepatitis B and MMR and even make lifestyle changes. According to UCHealth, these requirements increase the likelihood that a transplant will be successful and the patient will avoid rejection.

“Here I am ready to be a direct donor for you. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list, ”said Fougner. “How can I sit here and let them murder my girlfriend when I have a perfectly good kidney and can save her life?”

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The women have not found a hospital in Colorado to do the transplant until they are vaccinated. You are now looking at other states.

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