Spectrum Health Addresses Viral Letter Turning Down Transplant Candidate
A letter from Spectrum Health to a candidate for a heart transplant went viral, after the recipient posted it online.
The letter, which suggested the heart transplant candidate fund raise to meet the financial criteria of the hospital, went viral over the weekend. It has since been removed from Reddit and Facebook.
In the letter, Spectrum said the person (since identified as Hedda Martin of Grand Rapids) was no longer a candidate for the transplant because she needed 'a more secure funding plan for immunosupressive medication coverage'. The hospital then suggested she fund raise to get the money.
Martin's son, Alex Britt, set up a GoFundMe page to raise $20,000. So far, it has raised over $16,000.
"While it is always upsetting when we cannot provide a transplant, we have an obligation to ensure that transplants are successful and that donor organs will remain viable," the statement said. "We thoughtfully review candidates for heart and lung transplant procedures with care and compassion, and these are often highly complex, difficult decisions. While our primary focus is the medical needs of the patient, the fact is that transplants require lifelong care and immunosuppression drugs, and therefore costs are sometimes a regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision making process."