Three Year Old Denied Life-Saving Heart Surgery as Parents Unvaccinated Finally Taken in by Greece

Three year old heart transplant surgery unvaccinated parents

A three year old boy from Cyprus who was denied life-saving heart surgery last week as his parents were unvaccinated has finally been taken in by Greece, where he now awaits surgery.

Prior to his admission to the paediatric clinic of the Mitera Hospital, where he remains under the care of Dr Giorgos Sarris, hospitals in Germany, Israel and the UK refused to conduct the transplant, sparking a heated vaccination debate on social media.

The boy was first hospitalised in Cyprus last week with a life-threatening heart condition.

As the surgery couldn't be conducted in Cypriot hospitals, the country's health ministry decided to approach Germany and fly him to Frankfurt via air ambulance last Thursday.

The day before the transfer, however, the Frankfurt hospital informed the Cypriot authorities that due to the parents' unvaccinated status, the surgery could neither be performed in Germany.

As they continued to seek life-saving assistance, the Cypriot authorities were also turned down by hospitals in the United Kingdom and Israel for the same reason.

At this stage, the boy's parents agreed to become vaccinated, however the boy required immediate medical attention, and it would take six weeks before they would be considered to be fully vaccinated.

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The boy's father, Alexey Matveev, told Politico, "I know that unvaccinated patients are admitted to hospitals in Germany. I didn't know that I had to be vaccinated for my child to be operated upon in that hospital."

"If I knew it of course I would have done it ... I am healthy and did not want to be vaccinated. I find it inappropriate for someone who is healthy to be vaccinated," he added.

The Cypriot officials said that they had informed the parents ahead of time of the need to be inoculated. The officials reportedly suggested the parents get the single dose J&J vaccine to speed up the process, but they refused.

Fortunately Greece agreed to take in the child, whose identity has not been revealed, and he was flown into Athens Saturday afternoon.

Both parents have since received the first shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, according to hospital authorities.

Read also Greece Drops Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement for Travellers