Infant denied life-saving transplant via vaccines


A six-month-old baby has been denied a life-saving heart transplant because he is unvaccinated.

August Stoll was born with a complex congenital heart defect. Earlier this month he underwent emergency surgery at the Vanderbilt Pediatric Heart Institute in Tennessee, but the surgery failed, leading his team of cardiologists to conclude the only way to save the child’s life was with a heart transplant.

But when they referred the baby to the hospital’s transplant team, its director, David Bearl, told August’s parents, Hannah and Clint Stoll, that he would refuse the transplant until their son had received several childhood vaccinations.

“It’s so illogical,” Hannah Stoll told The Epoch Times on June 24. “He’s an immunocompromised baby in critical condition and this doctor wants to pump him up on vaccines… We know it’s going to kill him.”

The Tennessee couple, who are homeschoolers with four other children, yesterday asked Bearl to reconsider his position, but Hannah said he declined. Stoll said their son was so fragile they couldn’t even think about moving him to another facility.

Tennessee State Senator Ed Jackson called Bearl’s decision “outrage” and told the Epoch Times he is in contact with Vanderbilt in hopes of getting the Pediatric Heart Institute, a division of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to change his position to change.

“You shouldn’t deny a six-month-old baby life-saving treatment because of a parent’s legitimate concern,” Jackson said. “As a parent, I would be furious. ”

The Epoch Times contacted Bearl and the hospital administration for comment on August’s case, but neither responded. Bearl is listed with Vanderbilt as an assistant professor and medical director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program.

According to the immunization schedule provided to the Stolls by Children’s Hospital’s Department of Immunology, August would need to receive eight vaccines before the hospital would consider performing the heart transplant.

The plan, titled “Recommended catch-up immunization schedule for children and adolescents,” also highlights measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, chickenpox and hepatitis A vaccine. However, the schedule specifically lists the minimum age for these vaccines as 12 months. August is only 6 months old.

The Stolls have appealed their case to the Vanderbilt Ethics Council in hopes of having Bearl’s position overturned. They also started an Instagram page called “fightforaugust” to raise awareness of their plight.

Jackson, who earlier this year spearheaded a law banning hospitals from refusing organ transplants to patients without a COVID vaccine, also stressed that there is no law in Tennessee that legally requires children to be vaccinated in order to receive medical care. In addition to identifying the vaccines required for August as “recommended,” Stoll said Bearl admitted to her that it was not law or policy for him to receive the vaccines. “He told me, ‘This is how we make things easy around here.'”

In addition to Jackson’s bill, several other states have proposed legislation that would prohibit hospitals from refusing organ transplants to unvaccinated patients.

In February, a group of Republican congressmen introduced federal legislation called the Stop Arduous Vaccine Enforcement (SAVE) Act in response to the practice.

The legislation is endorsed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.


Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England Bureau of The New York Times.


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