The parents of a 14-year-old girl who suffers from a rare degenerative kidney condition, say Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, denied their daughter a life-saving kidney transplant because she didn’t get the COVID-19 shot.
Chrissy Hicks, the mother of Yulia Hicks, shared with Fox News the recording of a phone conversation she had with a Duke Health kidney specialist.
“I can’t require you to do anything. I can recommend these things, but if you don’t follow our recommendations, then Yulia can’t be a transplant candidate here. … Being unvaccinated to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended vaccinations based on her age is part of that,” the specialist can be heard telling the mother.
The Hicks family said Yulia, who suffers from Senior Loken Syndrome, had COVID and recovered, and, therefore, has natural immunity.
“I said, ‘So basically you’re telling us if she does not get the vaccine, then she’s not getting a transplant,’” the mother told Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson on Friday. “And (the hospital) said, ‘Yes, that is the one thing that is holding us up.’”
The girl’s father, Lee Hicks, said, “We’ve been upfront the entire time we’ve been seen at Duke, for the last two years, that we were not comfortable with the vaccine. … And so they knew all along that we were not comfortable with this. And it wasn’t a requirement. It was … a recommendation, according to (the doctors) at first — until the very end.”
It was after a “nine-hour (medical) workup’ two months ago that the doctors and hospital officials “decided or told us that this was going to be a highly recommended-slash-requirement for her to get a vaccine before she would get the transplant,” he added.
Chrissy and Lee Hicks have eight biological children and three adopted children, including Yulia, who they adopted from Ukraine last January.
The mother said the family has retained a lawyer to fight a legal battle with Duke Hospital.
“But we don’t want Yulia’s life caught up with the litigation. We’re hoping that a medical center can step forward and say, ‘Come here, we’ll give you the transplant without the vaccination.’”
An online campaign is raising money for Yulia’s kidney transplant.
Researchers from Maccabi Healthcare and Tel Aviv University in Israel found last year that “natural immunity affords longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease, and hospitalization.”
“This is the largest real-world observational study comparing natural immunity, gained through previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, to vaccine-induced immunity, afforded by the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine,” the researchers said.
Other studies have also shown that people who’ve already contracted the coronavirus will likely have lifetime immunity.