The Grapevine

Critically Ill Patient Denied Of Liver Transplant Over Coronavirus Fears

Ever since his birth, Colorado native Zach Branson has always struggled with a rare disease that unfortunately devastates his liver by backing up all the bile in his body. When he was born in 1987, doctors had already operated on him in order to try and fix it, although they said that their efforts would only delay the progress of the disease.

And so, after three decades of living with the disease (and going through countless health scares and unlikely recoveries), Branson’s time is finally running out. He needed a new liver ASAP, and he needed it very, very soon. And just last month, Branson’s prayers has been answered, what with one of his uncles passing all of the required tests in order to have doctors at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Denver remove part of his liver and have it transplanted onto Branson. This would potentially add another year to his life, the one where he planned on doing so much more.

“It meant everything to me. After struggling with my health for my entire life, it felt like I was getting another chance,” he said.

According to him, the date of the transplant is supposed to be March 25.

And then, the coronavirus pandemic happened out of nowhere, forcing hospitals to begin making the difficult decision of deciding how best to use their limited resources and to prepare for the oncoming demand of potential coronavirus patients. These choices could be particularly devastating for the tens of thousands of Americans awaiting new organs, according to transplant experts.

Unfortunately, Branson is one of the affected patients, with the hospital ultimately deciding to put his surgery on hold for at least two weeks, even when he was told he only has around 30-45 days to live.

As such, Branson is devastated, with his family calling the decision a “death sentence” for him. Nevertheless, he still made some alternative arrangements – just in case.

Moreover, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, Branson himself is just one of the many patients that are directly affected because hospitals across the country struggle to balance the needs of every patient, both new and old.

liver The liver cleans toxins out of the blood and fights infection. Credit: Mayo Clinic

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