The parents of a teenage girl who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 appeared on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday morning to discuss the serious medical dilemma facing their family, revealing that their daughter has been unable to carry on proceeding with the kidney transplant she needs at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.
Chrissy Hicks, the mother of 14-year-old Yulia Hicks, spoke of her conversation about the matter with a medical official.
“I said, ‘So basically you’re telling us if she doesn’t get the vaccine, she won’t get the transplant,'” Chrissy Hicks said. “And [the medical employee] said, ‘Yeah, that’s the only thing stopping us.'”
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Chrissy and Lee Hicks of North Carolina adopted their daughter Yulia from Ukraine almost two years ago.
The couple has eight biological children and three are adopted, the program said.
The girl suffers from a rare degenerative kidney disease known as Senior Loken syndrome, which is reported to require a transplant.
Although she has not been vaccinated against COVID, she has had the coronavirus – so the parents believe she is protected by natural immunities.
Father Lee Hicks said Saturday morning: “We’ve been at the front the entire time we’ve been seen at Duke over the last two years that we weren’t comfortable with the vaccine — with the COVID-19 vaccine. And so they knew all along that we weren’t comfortable with this.”
The father added, “And it wasn’t a requirement. It was… a recommendation, according to [the doctors] in the beginning – to the end.”
“They knew all along that we weren’t comfortable” with the COVID-19 vaccine, the parents said.
Lee Hicks said their daughter got a “nine-hour shift.” [medical] reprocessing” in October.
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And that’s when she [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 got the transplant.”
He added: “So the call… That’s when [the official] said it’s not a requirement, it is [a] recommendation, but she can’t get the transplant without the vaccine.”
Health officials “said it’s not a requirement, it is [a] recommendation, but she can’t get the transplant without the vaccine.”
Chrissy Hicks also said on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” “We hired a lawyer… to help us fight Duke [Hospital].”
She added: “But we don’t want Yulia’s life to be overtaken by the lawsuit. We hope a medical center can step forward and say, ‘Come here, we’ll give you the transplant without the vaccination.'”
The parents set up a website for their daughter, they said – YuliaGrace.com.
“If there is a medical center there, it will last [our daughter] as a patient, we would like them to contact us,” added Chrissy Hicks.
The mother also said, “We have 11 kids. So it’s not really financially viable for us to go out of state on our own. [get] the operation.”
“Hicks, who is originally from Ukraine, already had COVID and has recovered.”
Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, notes on its website, is ranked among the top children’s hospitals nationally in nine specialties by U.S. News & World Report; it provides care to thousands of pediatric patients each year.
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Fox News Digital contacted the hospital system on Saturday.
Duke Health officials shared the following comment.
“Our hearts go out to all families dealing with the serious illness of a loved one, and we are committed to making organ transplantation accessible to as many eligible patients as possible,” the officials said.
“To protect patient privacy, we cannot comment on individual cases.”
“Since 1965, we’ve performed more than 10,000 organ transplants,” they continued. “Organ transplant eligibility is a complex medical determination based on many health factors to ensure the best outcomes. These determinations are made in consultation with families and medical professionals and follow the latest medical evidence and regulatory guidelines that all transplant centers must follow.”
Duke Health went on to say, “To protect patient privacy, we are unable to comment on individual cases.”
Alex Berenson, a former New York Times investigative reporter, shared on his Substack last Wednesday that the 14-year-old girl was denied a kidney transplant at Duke University Hospital because she was not vaccinated for COVID-19, as Outkick reported.
Outkick noted in his article that “According to Berenson, Yulia Hicks should get the vaccine before the hospital performs her surgery. Hicks, who is originally from Ukraine, already had COVID and has recovered.” Berenson spoke to the girl’s parents.
“Yes, it is highly recommended that all patients on the transplant list be fully vaccinated prior to transplant.”
Many hospital systems across the country recommend or require patients on transplant lists to be fully vaccinated prior to transplant.
For example, the University of California San Francisco health system has “patient education” information that shares those guidelines.
“Yes, it is highly recommended that all patients on the transplant list be fully vaccinated prior to transplant,” the site says.
It adds: “Once a person is immunosuppressed at the time of transplantation, the response to a vaccine will be less robust than before.”
That site also states: “We strongly encourage all eligible family members and dependents living with transplant recipients to be vaccinated, including booster doses. Transplant recipients are unlikely to respond optimally to the vaccine, so the best way to to protect all close contacts they must be fully vaccinated.”
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In another example, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, says on its website that it “understands that transplant patients — both those already transplanted and those waiting for one — have specific questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
It shares the following common question: “Should transplant patients get vaccinated?”
The answer: “Yes. We encourage transplant recipients to get the COVID-19 vaccine when possible.”
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Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Massachusetts shares this message on its website: “Like most other transplant programs across the country, the COVID-19 vaccine is one of many vaccines and lifestyle behaviors needed for patients awaiting a solid organ transplant. .”
It adds, “Transplant candidates must also receive the seasonal flu and hepatitis B vaccines, demonstrate other healthy behaviors, and demonstrate that they can commit to taking the required medications post-transplant.”