Hospital Refusing to Give Life Saving Treatments to Unvaccinated Teen

Anne Spollen

In a case that is capturing national attention, a 14 year old needing a kidney transplant has been denied the surgery because she has not received the Covid 19 vaccine. The teen, Yulia Hicks, is an orphan adopted from Ukraine by her American parents last year. Yulia suffers from Senior Loken Syndrome, a degenerative kidney condition that requires a transplant to survive. She has been receiving daily dialysis treatment for the past 15 months.
Many hospitals are turning away unvaccinated patients who need life saving treatments.Photo byPhoto by Daniel Schludi on UnsplashonUnsplash

On December 10, Yulia's parents appeared on "Fox & Friends Weekend" to publicize their plight. Chrissy Hicks, Yulia's mother, recounted her conversation with an employee of Duke University Hospital. Mrs. Hicks stated, "So basically you're telling us if she does not get the vaccine, then she's not getting a transplant,'" Chrissy Hicks said. "And [the medical employee] said, ‘Yes, that is the one thing that is holding us up.’"

Her parents state that Yulia has already had Covid-19 and fully recovered from it. The family felt that this experience would grant their daughter enough immunity to the virus and she did not need the vaccine.

Yulia's father, Lee Hicks stated on the Saturday morning show, "We've been up front the entire time we've been seen at Duke, for the last two years, that we were not comfortable with the vaccine — with the COVID-19 vaccine. And so they knew all along that we were not comfortable with this." He added, "And it wasn't a requirement. It was … a recommendation, according to [the doctors] at first — until the very end."

The parents could go out of state for the surgery, but they also stated they are parents to eleven children and it is not financially feasible for them to travel. They may have to do just that. The family would have to cover costs not only for Yulia and her mother to travel, but also pay for the costs of the potential donor. They have set up a GiveSendGo page for their daughter to assist with costs.

Duke University Hospital does not comment on individual cases, but the medical community, in general, contends that after transplants, a patient's immune response is lowered and response to the vaccine would be weaker.

In Massachusetts, the Brigham and Women's Hospital states on its website: "Like most other transplant programs across the country, the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors that are required for patients awaiting solid organ transplants. Transplant candidates must also receive the seasonal influenza and hepatitis B vaccines, follow other healthy behaviors, and demonstrate they can commit to taking the required medications following transplant."

Chrissy Hicks also appeared on Tucker Carlson who condemned the the hospital's decision as "obviously unreasonable and viciously cruel."

As of this writing, the Hicks family is still waiting for a facility to perform the transplant for their child without requiring her to get the Covid 19 vaccine.

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New York City writer interested in urban concerns, lifestyle topics, human interest, all areas of wellness, and social issues. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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