Mayo refuses kidney transplant for another unvaccinated woman

"We're honestly afraid she could die without the transplant she needs," the woman's grandmother said.

Photos provided to Alpha News

Mayo Clinic has declined to consider a kidney transplant for a legally blind woman who has not received the COVID vaccine, her grandparents told Alpha News.

Belinda Kuhn told Alpha News that her granddaughter Courtney, a 33-year-old mother from Rochester, was not even able to get pre-checked for the transplant list.

“We love her. It’s so difficult,” she said.

Courtney, who did not wish us to identify her last name, has long struggled with type 1 diabetes. She worked as a hair stylist for 10 years but had to quit because of her worsening eyesight.

Now on thrice-weekly dialysis to treat her failing kidneys, Courtney is unable to get a transplant at the Mayo Clinic on account of her COVID vaccination status.

Belinda Kuhn said Courtney “feels strongly” about not wanting to get vaccinated. Courtney dealt with a bout of COVID last winter, and she doesn’t think vaccination is worth the risk of injury or death.

But Courtney and her family also worry about the risk of death if she can’t get a kidney transplant.

“We’re honestly afraid she could die without the transplant she needs,” Kuhn said. “We pray for her every day. We can only hope the Lord will help her find a way.”

Last month Alpha News reported on the Mayo Clinic denying a kidney transplant evaluation for an unvaccinated woman with stage-four kidney disease.

When asked for comment on that story, Mayo Clinic confirmed the COVID vaccination requirement for transplant candidates, saying it follows “current standards of care in accordance with national guidelines.”

“Mayo Clinic takes seriously the responsibility to ensure that patients who receive an organ have the best possible outcome,” a spokeswoman said. “Transplant candidates are already required to meet strict criteria, including being current on several vaccinations, undergoing preventive screenings and making healthy lifestyle changes.”


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.