North Carolina family of unvaccinated 14-year-old search for a medical center for kidney transplant
A North Carolina family is appealing for help after their adopted 14-year-old daughter was refused a kidney transplant by Duke University hospital because she was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Yulia Hicks was taken in by Lee and Chrissy Hicks in January 2021 from Ukraine. They knew she had a rare genetic kidney condition, Senior Loken Syndrome, which would eventually mean she required a transplant.
On November 11, however, they were told she was not eligible for Duke’s waiting list because she was not vaccinated against COVID.
Her parents said she had been infected previously, yet the hospital said that was not sufficient, and CDC guidelines require vaccinations for transplant patients.
‘They said the CDC recommendation had been updated at the end of October, and they had to go by the recommendation, and if she didn’t get the vaccine she wouldn’t be getting a transplant at Duke,’ said Chrissy Hicks, speaking to Tucker Carlson on Friday night.
Chrissy Hicks, mother of 14-year-old Yulia, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Friday night to appeal for help.
Carlson called the hospital’s decision ‘obviously unreasonable and viciously cruel.’
Chrissy Hicks recorded the phone call, in which the hospital explained why Yulia was being denied the transplant.
‘I can’t require you to do anything,’ a woman says. ‘I can recommend these things.
‘But if you don’t follow our recommendations then Yulia can’t be a transplant candidate here.
‘Based on number five, which is persistent non-adherence to medical dialysis treatment or medical recommendations, and also based on number 10 – which is medical risk factors that make the surgery unsafe.
‘And being unvaccinated to the CDC recommended vaccinations, based on her age, is part of that.’
When the Hickses, devoted Roman Catholics who have 11 children – three of them adopted – argued that Yulia had already had COVID and so was protected, the hospital staff pushed back.
‘The virus has continued to mutate,’ a man tells them.
‘So the natural immunity is not as good as if you had natural immunity, plus vaccination.’
Chrissy Hicks told Carlson that the hospital staff were not sympathetic, and had not even expressed condolences at not being able to help Yulia.
The mother of 11 said they hoped that another medical center might agree to help Yulia.
‘There’s no sympathy whatsoever from any of them,’ she said.
‘It’s just strong arming us: give her the vaccine, and you’ll get the transplant.’
Carlson said it was “so evil, it’s hard to digest it.”
The North Carolina mother said they have retained a lawyer, but in the meantime are hoping ‘that a medical center will come forward and let us know they will perform the transplant without the vaccine.’
‘We’ve had an outpouring of help already. We are so grateful for people who have stepped forward,’ she said.
‘This comes down to: this is bigger than Yulia, so many families are in the situation as Yulia, and we want to help other families.
‘There’s been a line drawn in the sand.
‘If we don’t stand up now for our medical freedoms, we don’t won’t be able to stand up soon.’
Yulia’s case is not isolated.
Earlier this year, a 31-year-old Boston man, DJ Ferguson, was denied a heart transplant because he refused to be vaccinated against COVID.
Several weeks later a North Carolina man, Chad Carswell, 38, said he would rather die than be forced to get the COVID jab to receive the kidney transplant he needed.
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, the hospital where Carswell was hoping to receive his transplant, declined to comment on his case but a spokeswoman said the hospital’s vaccine policy is meant to protect transplant patients, who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID.
Last year, both the Cleveland Clinic and University of Colorado hospitals refused to perform organ transplants for recipients who hadn’t been vaccinated.
Individual centers establish their own policies, but there are some common practices. Hospitals will typically require transplant candidates to abstain from smoking, and transplant recipients generally have to go through psychosocial evaluations.
They often have to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, commit to getting annual flu shots, and show they’re immune to measles.