Doctors at Duke University Hospital are refusing to perform a life-saving kidney transplant operation on a 14-year-old girl because she has not received a COVID injection, even though she has natural immunity from a previous bout with the virus.
Yulia Hicks was adopted by a Christian family in North Carolina in January of 2021 after she came to the United States from Ukraine, the National File reported. Her parents, Chrissy and Lee Hicks, are Army veterans who have eleven children in all, eight biological and three adopted.
The teen suffers from Senior Loken Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is progressively destroying her kidneys and eyes. The Hickses reportedly brought her to Duke University hospital for medical treatment, and were initially “embraced and encouraged” by hospital staff who helped them navigate through the long and intensive transplant process.
However, all that changed on November 11, when the Duke medical team told the Hickses that Yulia would be denied the kidney transplant due to her vaccine status.
“We can’t require you to do anything, but we can deny you because you are not following our recommendations,” wellness coordinator Catherine Thomas told Chrissy Hicks during the uncomfortable conference call.
During the call, the medical team insisted that the COVID vaccine would benefit Yulia, even though the COVID jabs wane after a few months, and come with a serious risk of adverse side effects.
Dr. Dan Chang, an pediatric infectious disease specialist, argued that the shots “prevent severe disease and death,” however data from around the world now shows that the majority of COVID deaths are occurring in vaccinated people.
Dr. Chang also inaccurately stated that the Covid jabs would help Yulia even though she had already had Covid. “The natural immunity is not as good as if you had natural immunity plus vaccination,” he said.
In fact, a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July that examined Covid infections in more than 2 million people in Qatar found that the effectiveness of so-called “hybrid immunity” (prior infection plus vaccines) against the Omicron variant was about the same as prior infection alone.
During the uncomfortable conference call, the staff made it clear that without an experimental mRNA jab, Yulia would not be considered for surgery. When pressed, a medical staffer on the call indicated that the shot was a requirement, saying “yes,” when asked.
Dr. Chang and Dr. Eileen Tsai Chambers, a pediatric kidney specialist at Duke, admitted that their hospital had seen no deaths or severe illness in unvaccinated patients following kidney transplants, but claimed they had heard of deaths at other transplant centers.
Chang also mentioned “hospitalization costs” if Yulia developed a COVID after receiving a transplant as a factor in their decision. They said they would transfer Yulia’s records to another center, but some centers might require her to complete a another workup, which could take up to a year.
Chrissy Hicks provided the National File with the full 15 min phone call, which was subsequently posted online.
“To think that a committee can determine someone’s life is terrifying,” Chrissy Hicks later posted on Yulia’s website. “This is, without a doubt, medical tyranny. What has become of the medical community? How does the refusal of a shot that is known to cause many health issues AND does NOT stop the spread of a disease deny a 14-year lifesaving therapy? How does that happen in America?”
Despite this setback, Yulia reportedly remains optimistic. “She’s the happiest child I’ve ever met in my life,” Chrissy said.
But Duke University’s insistence that the teen be vaccinated against the family’s wishes in order to receive medical treatment, was profoundly disturbing to the mother. “We do not have medical freedom or religious freedom anymore,” she told the National File.
“Yulia is my child, and I am afraid that the COVID shot will kill her,” she added. “I have done the research and I have a medical background. I know there will be a lot of blowback on me for bringing this to the public, but I feel very strongly about it,” she said. “I have the right to choose and I don’t want to put her at risk.”
Yulia is not in imminent danger. But receiving a transplant outside North Carolina, where she lives, will add to the expense and complexity of the transplant, further disrupt her life and potentially add to the risks she faces by interfering with her routine of home dialysis. The Hickses – who have eight biological and three adopted children – are now trying to raise $25,000 to help pay for the additional expenses of traveling for a transplant.
“We were hoping that they would come around,” Chrissy Hicks told the National File. “But from the beginning they have pushed it on us.”
Sudden Death Syndrome (SADS) was another concern. “Children are dying unexpectedly and it is scary,” she said.
Yulia is already compromised. Where does it end for the medical community to force things on us? Yulia has done everything they have asked her to do for months and we did it perfectly, and now they are telling us no, we can’t go further. They are telling her no, and that seems like a great injustice. As her Mom, that is so upsetting to me, because I feel we were called to be together and I want to give her a good life.
Hicks told National File that she and her husband Lee are now seeking a transplant center that will not require Yulia to receive a COVID injection. The Hickses are raising money on GiveSendGo to help pay for the additional expenses of traveling for a transplant.
“Today we are sad. Tomorrow is a new day, and God is there with an answer for us,” Chrissy Hicks posted on Yulia’s website.