Forced to Get Vaccine to Remain on Lung Transplant List, 49-Year-Old Who Survived COVID Dies After Second Moderna Shot

Forced to Get Vaccine to Remain on Lung Transplant List, 49-Year-Old Who Survived COVID Dies After Second Moderna Shot By Megan Redshaw for Children’s Health Defense

In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Amy Bolin said in order to be approved for a double-lung transplant, her husband had to be fully vaccinated for COVID even though he’d had the virus and recovered. After his second Moderna shot, he developed a pulmonary embolism and heart condition and died before he could get new lungs.

A 49-year-old Texas man who recovered from COVID — but was required to be fully vaccinated against the virus before being approved for a life-saving lung transplant — died when he developed a pulmonary embolism and heart issues after his second Moderna vaccine.

In an exclusive Interview with The Defender, the man’s wife, Amy Bolin, said there was no reason her husband, Bobby Bolin, should have been forced to get the vaccine.

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“In the medical field, your goal is supposed to be to improve and save people’s lives, and instead you’re giving them one option — you either do this or you can’t get a life-saving transplant,” Amy said.

Amy said her husband had no choice. “He knew that without lungs he was not going to live because his lungs were failing him. But look at what happened by making that choice.”

After his second Moderna shot, received on April 17, Bolin developed a pulmonary embolism and atrial fibrillation — a heart condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain and extreme fatigue. His health rapidly deteriorated and he passed away Aug. 20, before receiving new lungs.

Bolin had COPA syndrome, a rare genetic autoimmune disorder. “The side effect from the disease was an attack on his lungs, and he was at 15% lung capacity when he was being evaluated for a double-lung transplant,” Amy said.

Bolin started the evaluation process for new lungs in September 2020. “During that process, they discovered he had a blockage in his main artery and a couple of other arteries so he had to have a stent procedure done in September,” Amy said.

The evaluation process was halted because Bolin was required to take blood thinners after the procedure.

Once Bolin was finally approved for new lungs, he was told he would have to get vaccinated against COVID in order to be an eligible candidate for the transplant, even though he had already recovered from the virus.

“Our entire family actually came down with COVID in December 2020,” Amy said. “When that happened for Bobby, he was immediately given the antibody transfusion. His transplant team was certain that because of his minimal lung capacity this would be certain death for him, but he didn’t really have any side effects from it. A loss of smell was all that really lingered for him.”

When Amy learned her husband would be required to get the COVID vaccine, she “pushed back pretty hard with the transplant team.” She said she didn’t understand why the team would force a COVID vaccine on her husband without first testing his antibodies.

“It didn’t make sense to me,” Amy said. “He was extremely immunocompromised. He even struggled to take the flu shot, and we even fought the team about that because he would end up in the ICU every time it was given to him.”

Amy said:

“Unfortunately, he was desperate. He was very sick. He was not feeling well. The thought of taking this vaccine or not having the opportunity to have a chance at living was not something that he was willing to gamble with, so he agreed to take it.”

Bolin got his first dose of Moderna on March 20. He didn’t experience any effects outside of “typical achiness and feeling a little run-down,” Amy said, though he generally didn’t feel well due to his symptoms, so it was hard to tell if he was experiencing an adverse event or if it was part of his condition.

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