Diagnosed with a terminal condition just before the pandemic, Sheila Annette Lewis was denied a life-saving organ transplant over her COVID-19 vaccination status here in Canada. She did everything doctors requested of her to be placed on the transplant recipient list, even redoing all of her childhood vaccines.
Confirmed and next in line to get the transplant she needs to survive, the doctors involved added a new requirement — she would now need the COVID-19 shots to get the transplant. This is the only requirement Sheila could not abide by, in part because of her already immunocompromised position.
Sheila was promptly taken off the transplant list by doctors involved, which sparked a long legal battle resulting in a publication ban which prevents the name of the organ she needs, the transplant hospital, and doctors involved from being named.
This case was heard in the King’s Bench where the judge sided with the doctors, refusing to hear the Charter arguments made in favour of Sheila. The Supreme Court later dismissed the case and put costs of Alberta Health Services and the hospital’s lawyers onto Sheila.
As an alternative, Sheila had found hope in an American hospital which was willing to perform the surgery regardless of COVID-19 vaccine status, especially considering Sheila’s strong natural immunity to COVID-19. Sheila’s immunity was revealed by her lawyers this past spring, but AHS-contracted doctors involved told Sheila this didn’t matter, and in fact her and her family would now all have to take booster shots if she wants the transplant.
Recently, that U.S. hospital rejected Sheila’s candidacy for their transplant list. A source close to the situation confirmed the hospital suggested their yearly transplant capacity was simply too small, and Sheila should consider a larger hospital that would see larger volumes of transplants — and organs, a scarce resource — per year. They said they did not want to waste Sheila's time, considering how long it may take for them to obtain the necessary organ she needs and that a larger hospital would be more time-appropriate.
Sheila is a fighter who continues to seek international options, as many hospitals around the world do not require these same COVID-19 jab mandates — the only thing preventing her from getting this transplant in her home country of Canada. Alternative options, primarily across North American countries, are being pursued at this time.
Sheila would not have had to pay for this transplant in Canada considering our health-care services are tax-funded, but internationally the costs are high. A GiveSendGo has been launched to get Sheila the life-saving transplant she needs to survive, and supporters have already surpassed the $100,000 mark.
This amount should allow Sheila to redo all of the testing required to be listed on a transplant list, which she already completed here in Canada, but now needs to again for an international hospital's approval.
She has also opened a new lawsuit against AHS and the doctors involved, alleging medical malpractice. If won, this would potentially allow for her reinstatement onto the transplant list she was once on. Those refusing Sheila’s transplant allege ‘national guidelines’ are the cause for this COVID-19 jab policy, which has undoubtedly led to an untold number of individuals being denied life-saving organ transplants here in Canada.
Although these ‘national guidelines’ are being enforced by some, many Canadians have already undergone this specific life-saving organ transplant while being partially or completely unvaccinated, being exempt from the shot, or even after having COVID-19, raising concerns of the biases that AHS and the doctors involved may have towards Sheila and those who are not fully up to date with their COVID-19 jab status. The injunction is underway but is expected to take between two and three months, with hopes a deal could be struck sooner than that, as Sheila’s time is running out.
Much like the time it takes to attain transplant reinstatement from legal action, so too will it take a great while for Sheila to be approved for a transplant at any other hospital. She will have to apply and redo all her testing, which is a time-extensive process, if an international hospital does approve her for transplant.
Time is rapidly running out for Sheila as her terminal condition progresses, but thanks to her new legal counsel there may still be a chance for her to receive this transplant through Alberta Health Services. Likewise, Sheila has a GiveSendGo directed towards the medical costs that would be required by any hospital for her to be tested and operated on. Supporters have now donated beyond $100,000, giving Sheila the financial aid she needs to be tested for approval at a willing international hospital.
To see our latest coverage on the story of Sheila Annette Lewis, or to sign the petition we’ll be handing to Alberta Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange to show them how many people disagree with these coercive tactics within our taxpaying medical system, go to OrgansNotCoercion.ca.