The silent but very real war on unvaccinated Americans continues as a “vaccinated” man in Ohio, who is in need of a new kidney, was informed by the Cleveland Clinic that due to a new COVID-19 policy, the surgery was being delayed. The policy in question requires all organ transplant recipients and donors to be fully vaccinated.
For 52-year-old Mike Ganim, who has been battling polycystic kidney disease since he was 27, the news of a donor couldn’t come fast enough. In March 2020, Ganim was rushed to the hospital due to a blood clot. That was when doctors informed him that he needed a kidney immediately.
What followed was over a year of tests, shots, and constant pain until a perfect match was found for Ganim, and it couldn’t have come any sooner. The match was the friend of Ganim’s wife, Debi. The donor, Sue George, was more than happy to donate and help Debi’s husband live a healthy life, but she is not vaccinated due to religious and medical reasons.
With George unvaccinated, the Cleveland Clinic postponed the surgery that was scheduled for Wednesday and informed Ganim of the new policy that was put into effect. Debi was devastated, saying, “I’m just so afraid. I’m so afraid all over again. I mean, we were crying and crying so many tears of joy and gratefulness over this happening, and now it’s the opposite. I’m just so afraid.”
George, who understands it isn’t the doctor’s decision, added, “The clinic is making what I feel is a big mistake. They’re putting this vaccination ahead of saving somebody’s life. I’m willing to give a body part, a kidney, to this man. And they are not going to do it because I’m not taking a shot. That makes no sense.”
While the Cleveland Clinic didn’t respond to multiple requests from news outlets, they did send out the following statement:
The health and safety of our patients are our top priority. Cleveland Clinic has recently developed safety protocols for solid organ transplantation that require COVID-19 vaccination to be an active transplant candidate or living donor. Vaccination is particularly important in these patients for their safety. Living donation for organ transplantation has been a life-saving treatment, but it is not without risks to the donor. For the living donor, preventing COVID-19 infection around the time of their surgery and recovery is crucial. We continually strive to minimize risk to our living donors, and vaccination is an important component to ensure the safest approach and optimal outcomes for donors.