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Duke Children’s Hospital Denies Kidney Transplant For Unvaccinated 14-Yr-Old Who’s Losing Eyesight Due to Genetic Kidney Disease

Ashley Jarrett

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Duke Children’s Hospital is refusing to give a dying 14-year-old girl a life-saving kidney transplant because she has not received the Covid-19 vaccine, despite having already contracted the virus and fully recovered from it.

Yulia Hicks was born in Ukraine and brought to the United States in 2018. She was adopted by North Carolina Army Veterans Chrissy and Lee Hicks in 2021. They are a Catholic family with 10 other children, 2 of whom are also adopted.

Yulia Hicks (center) and her 10 siblings

Yulia suffers from a genetic kidney condition that the adopting family already knew would require eventual surgery. As Yulia’s health begins to deteriorate and she begins to lose her eyesight, Chrissy and Lee are growing more anxious to get their daughter on a transplant list as soon as possible.

On a website dedicated to sharing Yulia’s story, her mother Chrissy shared that Duke University Hospital denied Yulia the ability to have a kidney transplant due to her unvaccinated status. Up until this denial, the parents had been under the impression that they would be permitted to opt-out of the Covid-19 vaccination recommendation and still go through with the surgery.

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“To think that a committee can determine someone’s life is terrifying,” Chrissy wrote. “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 [old] a lifesaving therapy? How does that happen in America?”

Speaking to National File, Chrissy opened up about her frustrations with the medical community for denying her child a transplant over the Covid-19 vaccine. “I have the right to choose and I don’t want to put her at risk. Children are dying unexpectedly and it is scary,” Chrissy 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.”

The Hicks family also shared part of their phone call with Duke Children’s Hospital in which they were told Yulia was ineligible for the transplant, despite the Covid vaccine already being proven to not prevent a Covid-19 infection.

A GiveSendGo campaign that was set up to raise money for Yulia’s surgery has already raised over $41,500.


Formerly an online tech and science reporter at The Sun Online, Ashley stepped up to the mantle of technology reporter at the Daily Telegraph late last year. She writes about everything from drones, web security and cryptocurrency to social media apps, like Facebook and Spotify, and technology brands including Apple and Toshiba.

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