Leilani Lutali is in stage 5 renal failure, she desperately needs a kidney. Jaimee Fougner, a woman she met in Bible study just 10 months ago, has offered to donate her kidney, but UC Health, the Colorado hospital system that was supposed to perform the transplant, has denied performing the life-saving procedure on Lutani because she hasn’t received the COVID jab. Lutali has already had COVID-19, and after speaking with her doctor and weighing the risks, Lutali made the decision to skip the COVID jab. Her donor, Jamie Fougner also refused the vaccination based on her religious beliefs. The University of Colorado Hospital has also announced they will refuse to accept organs from unvaccinated donors.
In a letter to Lutani, the hospital threatened Lutani over her decision and warned they would take further action, “You will have 30 days to begin the vaccination series. If your decision is to refuse the COVID vaccination you will be removed from the kidney transplant list.”
Denver CBS Local reported on Lutani’s horrific story:
The women haven’t been able to find a hospital in Colorado that will do the transplant while they’re unvaccinated. They’re now looking at other states.
New York Post reported on the Univ. of Colorado hospital system’s discriminatory practice- UCHealth, which operates hospitals and urgent care facilities throughout the state, confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that organ transplant recipients and living donors must now be vaccinated against COVID-19 before undergoing procedures.
The health system said the driving force behind the policy change was studies showing transplant patients are more likely to die if they contract COVID-19. The mortality rate for transplant patients who get COVID is more than 20 percent, according to UCHealth.
“This is why it is essential that both the recipient and the living donor be vaccinated and take other precautions prior to undergoing transplant surgery,” UCHealth said in a statement.