A woman from Melbourne, Australia, has found herself in an unthinkable situation after doctors refused her treatment due to her vaccination status.
The woman, Vicki Derderian, a mother of two, suffered severe heart failure back in 2020 and was kept alive by a Ventricular Assist Device. She is now well enough to receive the much-needed transplant, but there is a snag.
According to the Australian news site Today, Derderian refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to her precarious heart condition, after she researched the potential side effects of the shot.
“I need to make this clear, I’m not an anti-vaxxer,” Derderian said.
“When it came to COVID-19, reading up on all the information, and also knowing about my condition, I wanted to minimize risk as much as possible – It’s very complicated, it has a lot of risks and to face those risks on top of an unknown risk from a vaccination that has had partial approval, I had to think twice and it’s a very hard decision.”
Derderian’s heart condition made her eligible for an exemption from the vaccine, but that does not seem to matter now.
Derderian said that while she respects her medical team, the COVID rules regarding transplants are causing patients like her to miss out on life-saving treatment.
According to Today, patients “shouldn’t be coerced into taking something they don’t believe in to get lifesaving treatment,” she argued.
‘No jab, no heart’:A Melbourne mum has been refused a heart transplant because she hasn’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 even though she has an exemption.
Vicki Derderian’s heart failed in 2020, forcing her to rely on a ventricular assist device (VAD) to keep her blood pumping. pic.twitter.com/M9XsF5Ckha
— Eva Lopez (@911DiedSuddenly) February 13, 2023
But medical expert and infectious disease specialist Dr. Nick Coatsworth disagreed, saying that “the biggest risk will be the hit to her immune system if she gets COVID-19 without having the vaccine.”
“Then there’s a really significant risk that you’ll die and that organ will die with you,” the doctor stated.
“And we don’t want that to happen to you and we certainly don’t want it to happen to the family who’s made that sacred donation … it is such a complex area, I don’t envy your decision but I do stand by the rules the transplant physicians have made.”
He concluded by pleading with Derderian to just get the jab, and there would be no worries, arguing that the risk of COVID was far more dangerous.
“If I was in your position I’d receive the vaccine because I think it’s the safest thing to do, I know you don’t agree with me and I respect that decision but please, please reconsider.”
As reported by Yahoo News, there is merit to Derderian’s concerns, with the vaccine being linked to heart conditions like myocarditis and pericarditis, though such instances are considered rare.
Derderian had strong words for the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services, arguing that she has been left out to dry by health-care providers for her personal decision.
“The hospital stance at the moment is no jab, no heart. I’m ready to be on the heart transplant list because medically I’m stable to be on it. But unfortunately, because of these mandates, it has interfered with patient-doctor relationships,” she said.
While being interviewed on Today, Coatsworth faced pushback for his view on the matter from the show’s host Karl Stefanovic.
“So Nick, doctors are now deciding not to treat someone because of the chance of getting COVID-19 in a hospital, are we stopping treating people now?” Stefanovic asked.
“On the contrary, Karl … this is an active treatment decision by the medical community. This hasn’t changed during COVID-19,” Coatsworth answered.
“I know there’s a lot of greys in Covid-19 Karl, a lot of greys. … This is black and white. Unfortunately, we have to try and convince people like Vicki … we’ve got to do our best to convince them. If we fail, ultimately, that means the organ isn’t transplanted.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.