No Vaccination? No Transplant.

Shamgar Connors

by James A. Bacon

You would never know it from meeting him over Zoom that Shamgar Connors is living under a veritable death sentence. He requires kidney dialysis 12 hours per day. His doctors tell him that the average life expectancy for his particular kidney disease is about five years…. and he started dialysis a year-and-a-half ago. He has been on the kidney-transplant list for about three years now, but the University of Virginia Health system has put him on “inactive” status on the grounds that he refuses to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The lengthy dialysis treatments, Connors says, make him tired. If that’s true, one wonders what he was like before they began. During our chat, the former 8th-grade teacher came across as passionate, energetic and physically vigorous. He has gained national notoriety for his stand, conducting numerous media interviews and generating hundreds of social media responses as he rallies support for his cause. Strangers have showered him with love and support; one offered him her own kidney. Others say they hope he dies.

He has found his sense of purpose, and he shrugs off the ill wishers. “I’m going to stay as stable as I can and fight this,” he says. “I don’t want a solution just for me. God has put this cause on my shoulders. I’m going to fight for all the other people. There are people sicker than me who are desperate. … I’ll go out like a super-nova.”

Connors’ case raises profound scientific and ethical issues. Kidney transplants are hard on patients’ immunological systems, which makes them more vulnerable to infections, including COVID. Because donor kidneys are scarce, hospitals don’t want to give them to patients with lower odds of survival. UVa Health insists that transplant patients get vaccinated. Connors, who sloughed off a case of COVID over Thanksgiving, says he has acquired natural immunities. UVa says those immunities aren’t good enough.

Born in New York into a family of nine children, he moved around a lot, to Florida and Hawaii but mostly in New York. As a kid, he says, he was “a big nerd.” He had an aptitude for mathematics in high school, and earned undergraduate degrees in math and computer science at SUNY-Potsdam and an M.A. in information technology at Clarkson University. He’d never thought of teaching as a career, but when some friends moved to Accomack County, Va., near Chincoteague, he tagged along. Despite his lack of educational qualifications, he applied to be a math teacher. It turned out that Accomack was desperate for math teachers, and he landed the job at Arcadia Middle School.

“I showed up and said, ‘here I am, what do I do?’” Connors recalls. They didn’t know what to expect of a guy named Shamgar. It’s a name from the Bible. Look it up.” (Shamgar snags a one-line mention in Judges 3:31 for striking down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad.) Someone handed him a math book, and before he knew it, he was teaching pre-Algebra. “It was wild.” He soon transitioned to teaching computer science to middle schoolers, and took on duties as a basketball and soccer coach as well.

Shamgar, wife Lauren, and their two children

He moved from the Eastern Shore to Stafford County, where he married his wife Lauren in 2016, and found a job teaching in Woodbridge, Prince William County.

Around 2014 Connors had reached a pinnacle of fitness when he started having medical issues. His doctors told him he had protein in his urine, a sign of malfunctioning kidneys. He blew off their warnings until one day his legs swelled up so badly he had to go to the hospital. The diagnosis: FSGS, or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease that scars the tubules of the kidney. He might have gotten it from strep throat as a kid. Genetics might have played a role. No one knows for sure. At first he tried to control the disease through diet and blood pressure meds. That didn’t work, though, so he had no choice but to undergo dialysis.

At age 42, Connors still lifts weights, and he has a body-builder’s physique. But he says the dialysis wears him down — it takes 12 hours every day, and the machine makes him feel like it is sucking his insides out. Muscle cramps are a recurring side effect. He tires easily. “It’s not fun.”

As part of his treatment, he visits the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville every year to confer with the transplant doctors. Because of COVID restrictions, the last session took place in October over the phone. That’s when he was told that if he didn’t get the vaccination, he would be placed on inactive status on the transplant list. UVa Health explained that getting the transplant would make him immuno-comprised and more vulnerable to COVID.

He asked why he needed the vaccine. He’d been infected COVID recently and gotten over it.

That’s a story in itself. Connors became very sick. His oxygen level as measured by the oximeter fell to the 80’s. He had a fever, he vomited, and he couldn’t sleep. The sickness lingered, the physician-prescribed treatments didn’t work, and he wasn’t getting better. His wife is a nurse, and at her suggestion, he took some ivermectin, used primarily as an anti-parasite medication, before some doctors began prescribing it as a treatment for COVID-19. Ivermectin has been deployed widely in India, with apparent success, but the Centers for Disease Control warn against its use on the grounds that its efficacy has never been proven in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. The use of ivermectin has been rejected by the healthcare establishment and ridiculed in popular culture as a horse medicine.

But Connors tried it, and it worked — immediately. “I was better in 24 hours.” When he wife got sick from COVID, she tried it, too. And she quickly got better. Given his personal experience, Connors has no question whatsoever about ivermectin’s efficacy. As a consequence, he is less than impressed by the medical establishment and its media mouthpieces.

But ivermectin is a side issue. The point is that he acquired natural immunity from his infection. He argues that his immunity is as good as the immunity conferred by a vaccine. Now the same people who told him ivermectin is worthless say he must get vaccinated. He doesn’t get it. Why can’t the medical criteria for a transplant be the level of antibodies in his system, he asks, rather than “an experimental drug that I don’t need?”

Part II will explore the medical issues surrounding COVID vaccinations and transplants.

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39 responses to “No Vaccination? No Transplant.”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    What other vaccinations are required of transplant patients, both recipients and donors? Plenty. Anybody whining about them? The organs are in incredibly short supply, and the process includes massive impacts on the immune system, including intentional suppression. This is a medically wise requirement in face of the shortages and the coming issues, not a punitive matter.

    I honestly don’t know which team of medico-political terrorists I have less respect for. The COVID Control Freaks and Suicide Wish Squad are about equal in my eyes. This man has free choice but he is making a bad one (and I’m absolutely fine with him taking any med he wants off label if his doctor prescribes, including Ivermectin.) Everything I hear is the natural immunity from COVID will probably be as lasting as the natural immunity from other cold viruses, as in you can get sick again pretty damn soon. With a prior case the vaccines produce “super immunity,” the best we can hope for at this point.

    I really feel sorry for this guy. He is listening to people who do not have his interests at heart, who are using him to make a political point.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      there are a number of factors that go into establishing candidacy for transplants and it can come across as ruthless but it’s not political at all but might be considered arbitrary by those on the outside looking in.

      The thing with this guy and similar is a motivation to make him a bit of a “victim” to “establishment” policies.

      it does no one any good IMHO because in the end – there are simply not enough organs and someone has to make judgement calls and there are ample grounds for disagreement but even if others took over the decision with different criteria, it would still be arbitrary to others.

      There are no perfect rankings when there simply are not enough organs to start with.

      I’ve heard that people can fly to other countries and get an organ – if you trust their medical “establishment” to do the transplant.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        As I once heard a kid say on Art Linkletter’s show, “Blessed are the weak of heart for they shall soon see God.”

        Bacon must be trying to catch Rogan. No Heart of Gold for him!

    2. vicnicholls Avatar

      Comirnity is not available. The “shot” is not a vaccine – it simply helps but does not function like any other vaccine. The guy was able to defeat it with bad kidneys, it appears the medical judgement that you have to have it to survive is not based on logic. Is there any proof in this group of folks that it will make you survive or not get COVID? Or suffer effects from COVID? None for other folks, what makes you think that it will in these? Doing a ton of feeling “control freaks” and “suicide wish squad” rather than proof, hard facts. I see the doctors as asking for medical compliance to something that has no bearing on other vaccinations because the current shot is not a vaccination. What do they do for flu shot folks who can’t take it? Some of us got no’ed off it more than 2 decades ago by docs, and that’s sort of what the COVID shot is like more so than a true vaccine.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        I don’t care what you call it, but it protects people from more adverse damage from COVID. Clearly, it won’t keep everyone out of the hospital, but a significant number of people who have not received the shots fare less well than those who did get the shots.

      2. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Anything that exposes a person to a disease in order to stimulate the natural immune system in a contolled manner is “a vaccine.” I don’t think it has to work 100.0% to meet the definition.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Part of that darker side of c-freaks, he is.

          Friend’s hubby got a new liver long time back. The recovery, complete now at less than 100%, included a year of sweating the risk of a cold.

          He’s been sweating bullets for 2 years now all over again.

          This guy made it to the list and then took hisself off with no chance of return. Psych-evals are a part of the process.

        2. vicnicholls Avatar

          Horsedump. I don’t get rubella when I get that shot do I? How rare is it and under what circumstances do you get it? We’ve major breakouts for it for covid with the vaccination, a lot more of those testing positive and getting sick. Under the regular old vaccines, you’d have to be in a rare stratosphere for that. These you don’t.

  2. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    Why are they refusing to treat him? Because he won’t get the vaccine? Because he may waste a kidney? Just because a kidney matches with him doesn’t mean it will help anybody else on the list if they deny him. Yes it is politiocs and that is the only reason. BTW good thing the polio vaccine isn’t a failure like the Chinese vaccine. I have an aunt that is apparently dying from the Chicom virus even though she was vaccinated. So the “vaccines” for the Chicom virus are hit or miss and not very effective.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      “Just because a kidney matches with him doesn’t mean it will help anybody else on the list if they deny him. ”

      Yes, yes it will. It’s a long list. Kidneys are one of the transplants that can come from a living donor and be designated to a recipient. The donor’s medical expenses are fully covered.

      Here’s your chance. Just test for compatibility and you can put your kidney where your mouth is.

  3. hey everyone I am Shamgar Connors, first I would liek to thank James Bacon for interviewing me and getting my story out there.

    Second I would like to say thank you to everyone out there that is supporting me.

    Third i’d like to point out that there ARE medical scientific studies that prove I am right in not wanting the vaxx. Right now there are studies that show that if you have natural immunity, and you attempt a transplant operation, that actually leads to a higher rate of transplantation operation success rate .

    Are you aware of the Toronto study which showed organ transplant patients with prior immunity from infection have stronger immunity than from the shots?

    admits ignorance of immunity post-natural infection; admits defective immunity post-jab! 12/2021


    and also i have a right to decline the vaxx with a religious exemption which is protected by my constitutional rights.

    if anyone wants to follow my story, my wife is running a gofundme, if you want to donate that would be appreciated, but what is even more important is spreading this story. please share it!! and follow the gofundme page for updates!!

    thank you again everyone!

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      You can make this political or you can do what is practical. You do have that option.

      Anyone can find a “study” to back up their beliefs – even several – but if you ignore the other studies and the facts and realities – then what does that do for YOU!

      I can’t belief that you don’t do what is necessary to prolong your life and instead choose a political path.

      You are not alone. Thousands have died to prove they don’t need to be vaccinated. It’s like lemmings to the sea.

      1. i am doing what is RIGHT. for me and for my family. why do i need something that doenst work that i dont need? i have natural immunity. my studies above show its better.

        if i got the shot it would most likely kill me or maim me, which would cut my life a lot shorter than if i didnt get the vaxx. so i’m prolonging my life by not getting the vaxx.

        thousands more have died from getting the vaxx and cloggign up the hospitals. i know because my wife has been treating all of these people. everything you see on the news is the opposite of reality. go date a nurse and find out for yourself.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Well I’m actually glad that JAB posted your story and that you have personally responded because it’s clear and easy to understand where you are coming from.

          It’s truly amazing.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Tucker takes a toll.

        2. killerhertz Avatar

          Nevermind Larry

          . He’s been wrong on nearly every COVID post he interjects in. He even subverts his own arguments when he does cite studies, probably because his boomer brain is too lazy to read them.

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Sir, I have nothing but sympathy for your plight. Jim Bacon or his readers cannot change this rule. Likewise all who watch Fox News. The state cannot change this rule. Congress will not change this rule. I see only two options for you, agree or forego the transplant option.

      1. clearly you are not an attorney and you have not read the consitution. what they are doing are infringing upon my religious rights protected in the constitution.

        when you say you only ‘see 2 options’ – you dont know the laws, you dotn know the constitution. i will win this and i’ve alraedy talked to attorneys.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Lawyers. Really good hook on which to hang a hat.

          1. a lot more trustworthy than you when they cite the laws i can sue the hospital because of. and their track record of defending others with the same issue.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You’re still cheating your family out of the one thing they cannot replace. Not even with money.

            Me? Trustworthy? My name is Naive.

          3. i’m staying alive and not maimed by not getting the vaxx.

            if i got the vaxx i would likely die or get some horrible side effect like eveyrone else is.
            we know lots of people in real life that have been severely damaged by these vaxxs’

            im making the right choice by not getting the vaxx.

          4. dick dyas Avatar

            God bless you. It is important to stand up for your convictions, whether right or wrong.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Limited supply. Decisions must be made. It’s a decision based on survival factors, vaccines being one.

    There are faster, surer methods, Lad.

    Personally, I’d endure a year of cholla suppositories before discarding your opportunity.

    Met with lawyers, eh? Wait, wait, don’t tell me. Let me guess. “First, we need to set up a website for donations.” Right?

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Interesting that he was willing to take one experimental drug, ivermectin, but is rejecting the vaccine because it is “experimental”.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      I’m sure he has researched the dozen, or so, post-op drugs he’ll be receiving.

    2. killerhertz Avatar

      Ivermectin is not experimental. There have been billions of doses administered. It has a very very low risk profile like aspirin.

    3. you do realize ivermectin has been around way way longer than these covid vaxxs which have only been around 1 year right?

    4. kosachol Avatar

      Ivermectin is not experimental by any stretch of the imagination. It has a long history and a track record of safety and efficacy, including for covid. The one thing it lacks is a patent and a pharma giant behind it to rake in $$$. Ivermectin is dirt cheap, and quite effective. The vaccine, however, is hastily developed and with every passing day more and more information and data is coming out pointing to it being quite a disappointment. It’s protection declines within a couple of months (hence boosters), and concerns about side effects are mounting. The way I see it, at this point it much wiser to risk getting covid and take ivermectin or some of the other available safe protocols for it, rather then jab yourself with this vaccine.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Moral obligations. Does a donor have an expectation that his gift is not wasted? Maybe I might reconsider the little blue heart on my driver’s license.

    1. every unvaxxed person that reads this story have been contacting me personally telling me they are taking themselves off organ donor lists.

      1. Tyrone "Big Bone" Shues Avatar
        Tyrone “Big Bone” Shues

        aint nobody want yo diseased fetid organs fool

    2. There was an episode of Law & Oder: Criminal Intent (“Ex Stasis”) about this issue. A live organ donor murders the recipient of his kidney when she fails to live up to his expectations.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        I like it! There was a House episode with two women in a same sex relationship where the one was going to donate to the other, who was planning to end the relationship until she needed the kidney. Good twist in the end.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Oooh, oooh. Here’s a pitch. Serial killer, sentenced to LWOP needs kidney and tries to make a deal to trade body locations for the organ. Well, Mr. Wolf?

  7. Deborah Hommer Avatar
    Deborah Hommer

    “On Jan. 24, Sen. Johnson held his second panel discussion on COVID-19 with world renowned doctors and medical experts who provided a different perspective on the global pandemic response. The roundtable, COVID-19: A Second Opinion, discusses the current state of knowledge of early treatment, hospital treatment, vaccine efficacy and safety, what went right, what went wrong, what should be done now, and what needs to be addressed long term.” See his website.

    Houston, we have a problem with these vaccines. See the Drug Adverse Event Comparison uploaded.

    1. killerhertz Avatar

      Because all of these midwits don’t understand how the vaccine works. The spike protein is deleterious and has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and enter other organs. When you have a natural infection and a normal immune response the infection generally does not end up in all your organs causing massive damage like microclotting. Your mucosal defenses also play a huge role apparently. However with the mrna vax you are programming your cells to create it everywhere, blasting spike protein around your body like a shotgun for at least a few days.

  8. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    I don’t know what is going on with BR that it seems stuck on the Fairfax anti-mask Mom (who is right by the way), but the same critics there in favor of medical totalitarianism are letting their freak flags fly here.
    Laws and rules and policies are supposed to be rational.
    Meanwhile, doctors (at least they used to be this way) believed in saving every life.
    If someone comes into the ER, they don’t wonder if he is vaccinated or if the car wreck was his fault. They try to save his life.
    So now we have Shamgar. First, to the critics, you try being on dialysis 12 hours a day and maintaining any spirits. I’d say Shamgar is showing exceptional fortitude. How?
    Jim Bacon wrote a very balanced article.
    I had a bone marrow transplant a little over two years ago. Do you know that only 85% of patients survive a year? I don’t know the 5 year rate or the 10 year rate and I don’t care. It won’t affect me. It is a statistic. I may beat the stats and I may not, but I am not going to live in fear. I was immuno-suppressed (to avoid graft versus host disease) for 9 months, and I am still technically immuno-compromised, oh, and I had Covid in September (and I had some bootleg ivermectin and azithromax and treated myself and had no problems, but Shamgar and I don’t know a thing because the experts say ivermectin doesn’t work except in Uttar Pradesh and lots of other places, but not in the CDC).
    So, is this policy, and where did it come from, rational or humane?
    It is not rational.
    Larry now thinks VAERS is a conspiracy because he worships at the altar of do whatever the Left says. But the shot shot shot (repeat forever) does have dangers. If you are Shamgar and have survived Covid and you are severely medically compromised, does the “reward” of the shot-shot-shot outweigh the risks? I’m sorry – in no way does it.
    Each patient presents a unique profile. The medicine needs to be tailored to that person – not set by people in DC who don’t see patients and have no actual creativity in healing. Dr. Marik’s practice and Dr. Kory’s and Dr. McCullough’s and Dr. Zelenko’s – wow, sure are a lot of coincidences with IVM and HCQ…
    Why do you Leftists oppose therapeutics? Shouldn’t you celebrate ALL possible treatments?
    Quit being horrible people. It is appropriate to rebel against bad law (see Thomas Jefferson) and UVA Health, you know, the school where Thomas Jefferson was involved, who said something about pursuing truth wherever it may lead, should have the guts and intellectual honesty to admit the “policy” makes no sense for Shamgar.
    Is that so dangerous, or must everybody, 2 year old kids late developing speech because of masks and kidney transplant patients on 12 hours of dialysis a day, do what you want…because why?

    1. killerhertz Avatar

      It’s because people hate being wrong and told they are wrong to their face with overwhelming evidence. So they double down. The sooner the US balkanizes and I no longer have to share oxygen with these people the better. Fortunately their inhumane behavior is being noticed and there will be hell to pay in the coming decades when we finally part ways.

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