A seriously ill dad-of-two has been removed from the transplant list at a Boston hospital because he refuses to have the Covid vaccine.
DJ Ferguson was scheduled to have a life-saving operation and is in dire need of a new heart as he suffers from a hereditary condition which causes his lungs and heart to fill with blood and fluids.
His family say he was "front of the line" to receive a new organ, until the 31-year-old refused to change his stance on the Covid jab, The Mirror reports.
The dad now faces a grave future, but the hospital has said it is just following policy.
Ferguson's dad, David, has called his son "courageous" and said: "My son has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns and he's been pushed to the limit.
"I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more.
"It's his body. It's his choice."
The 31-year-old has been in the hospital waiting for a new organ since November 26 last year.
His family say they do not know what to do next as he may be too weak to move from his hospital bed at Boston Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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In a statement, the hospital, part of Harvard Medical School, said: "Given the shortage of available organs, we do everything we can to ensure that a patient who receives a transplanted organ has the greatest chance of survival.
"Like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviour's required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient's survival after transplantation.
The hospital added that most of the 100,000 people on waitlists for organ transplants will not receive an organ within five years due to a shortage of available organs.
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