An anti-vaxxer in North Carolina has refused a possible life-saving kidney transplant on Friday, Jan. 28, after he learned that he would need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying that he is willing to die for this belief.

Chad Carswell, a double-amputee living in Burke County, North Carolina said that his kidney is only working at 4 percent capacity and that he is forced to use a dialysis machine three times a week to survive. In spite of that, he is refusing to vaccinate himself in order to get a new kidney, WSOC reported.

“I was born free. I will die free. I’m not changing my mind,” Carswell said about his aversion to the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’ve had conversations with my family and everybody who is close to me and they know where I stand and there will not be a situation that occurs where I’ll change my mind on this topic.”

He has admitted that he doesn’t have long to live if he doesn’t get a kidney transplant and that his friends and family have raised money for his operation as well as offered their own kidneys to donate to him, according to Fox 8.

In spite of all this support around him, however, he shut down ideas of a kidney transplant at the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital due to their requirement of a COVID vaccine before being considered for a transplant.

“He said, ‘The last thing we need to talk about is your vaccination status.’ And that’s when I politely told him there was nothing really to talk about it, it wasn’t up for debate [and] that I wasn’t getting it. Then, he told me, ‘You know you’ll die, if you don’t get it.’ And I said, ‘I’m willing to die,’” Carswell said.

He is currently looking for hospitals inside and outside North Carolina that would perform the surgery without requiring him to get the COVID vaccine.

In a statement to the press, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital has said that the vaccine policy for transplant patients is a requirement due to the scarceness of usable kidneys as well as the high possibility of severe disease, infection, and rejection that could kill the patient.

“The reason it is recommended is to provide protection for the patient. Transplant patients are at high risk for severe illness if they don’t have preexisting immunity prior to being transplanted,” they said.

Chad Carswell, a double-amputee from North Carolina who requires a kidney transplant to survive, has refused to get the COVID vaccine in order to qualify for the procedure. This is a representational image. Piron Guillaume/Unsplash.

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