The Clevland Clinic’s new policy to require coronavirus vaccinations for both the organ transplant recipient and the donor has delayed a critical kidney surgery for a vaccinated Ohio man.
Mike Gamin was just days away from getting a new kidney after a year of searching and painful tests when the Cleavland Clinic announced that patients on the transplant list and the living donors are required to have the coronavirus vaccine, according to News 5 Cleveland’s report.
Ganim, 52, was diagnosed at age 27 with polycystic kidney disease; in March 2020, a blood clot sent him to the hospital. The doctors at Cleveland Clinic advised him there was no time to waste; he needed a kidney transplant.
Debi Ganim, Ganim’s wife, explained, “The kidneys were so profound with cysts that they just pressed and pressed and pressed on his main vein, and it bottlenecked it, and it went all the way down into his leg.”
Ganim found a match in his wife’s friend, Sue George. After waiting months to get on the donor list, he eventually made on in October 2020. After additional tests over the summer, finally, the surgery was scheduled for Wednesday.
However, just five days before the life-saving operation, Ganim was informed by the Cleveland Clinic his scheduled surgery was on hold because George wasn’t vaccinated, Debi told WOIO-TV.
Geroge told News 5 Cleveland she understands the doctors “hands are tied, it’s coming from upper management.”
“The clinic is making what I feel is a big mistake,” she said. “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.”
Debi reported her husband’s medical team is working on an alternative solution – perhaps Geroge will undergo surgery at another hospital and have the kidney delivered to Cleveland Clinic.
“I’m just so afraid,” Debi said. “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.”
The Cleveland Clinic issued the following statement to Breitbart News via email:
The health and safety of our patients is 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.
The Clinic added, “For organ transplantation using a living donor, which involves the living donor undergoing a scheduled surgery, we are requiring COVID-19 vaccination for both donor and recipient before we can proceed with the surgery, for the safety of both.”
The news follows a report of Colorado’s UCHealth refusal of transplant surgery for a woman in critical need of a new kidney because both she and the donor are unvaccinated.