‘Are you really going to let me die over a shot?’: Heart withheld from father of 2 at top of transplant list

[anvplayer video=”5085762″ station=”998131″]

(NBC Boston) — David Ferguson, a father of two with a third on the way, desperately needs a new heart.

He is at the top of the transplant list, but he has not been vaccinated for COVID-19, and the Boston area hospital where he is now staying insists he must get the shots before he can get a heart.

The family says doctors told them the 31-year-old needs a heart transplant after complications caused by an abnormal heartbeat. He’s also been fighting off a life-threatening blood clot since Thanksgiving.

His family said Ferguson did research and feels like the shot could do him more harm than good.

"There is some adverse reactions given his condition, and he is a man, he made his decision," said his mother, Tracey Ferguson. "He said, ‘I can’t,’ then he said to the doctor, ‘Are you really going to let me die over a shot?’"

The hospital said it can’t discuss individual patients, but it follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol to "create both the best chance for a successful operation and to optimize the patient’s survival."

But many other hospitals don’t require COVID vaccinations to approve active candidates for the national waiting list.