Fundraiser Explodes For Child After Family Says Duke Denying Kidney Transplant Over COVID Vax
Digital generated image of syringe filling of COVID-19 vaccine from bottle against viruses on blue background.
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A fundraiser has exploded online for a child who was reportedly denied a kidney transplant by Duke University’s children’s hospital, raising nearly $230,000 in a matter of days.

Yulia Hicks, 14, has a genetic kidney disorder that requires a transplant, but her family says the hospital is refusing to put her on the kidney wait list because she is unvaccinated against COVID. Notably, the family says the girl has already recovered from the virus.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have been shown,” Lee and Chrissy Hicks, Yulia’s parents, posted in an update to the GiveSendGo fundraiser. “Our God is great! He will not abandon us. … TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

The North Carolina family said in an update posted on Thursday that they have retained a lawyer to help fight the hospital, adding that they are “praying we can change the policy for others.”

“We increased the amount we are trying to raise because we know we will have legal fees, and we don’t know the extent of our bills for travel, etc. as we will likely be going out of state for transplant,” Lee and Chrissy said. The goal for the fundraiser is now set at half a million dollars.

The GiveSendGo account called Duke’s alleged move to deny Yulia the kidney transplant a “horrible injustice,” noting that the girl’s family now “must pay for out-of-state travel and lodging expenses for not only Yulia and her mother, but also her potential donor!”

“The transplant process is not easy nor quick,” the post continued. “Between the numerous pre-surgery tests, the procedure itself, recovery and the years of regular appointments, the whole endeavor is now financially IMPOSSIBLE for the large Hicks family.”

Yulia was adopted into the Hicks family from Ukraine in January 2021. “She fit in right away with Lee and Chrissy’s 10 other children, 2 of which are also adopted,” the fundraiser said.

The Daily Wire reported last week that an alleged recorded phone call, obtained by journalist Alex Berenson, revealed a Duke health official telling the Hicks family that Yulia must get vaccinated against COVID before she can become a candidate for the kidney transplant.

“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,” the Duke Health kidney specialist reportedly said.

“Being unvaccinated to the CDC recommended vaccinations based on her age is part of that,” the kidney specialist allegedly added.

Her family says Yulia has already contracted COVID and recovered, but doctors told them Yulia’s natural immunity was not enough, according to the recorded call.

“The virus has continued to mutate and so the natural immunity is not as good as if you had natural immunity plus vaccination,” one doctor said in the call.

A representative for Duke Health told The Daily Wire last week they would check on the situation.

Mairead Elordi contributed to this report. 

Related: Duke Children’s Hospital Denied 14-Year-Old Girl Kidney Transplant Over Covid Vaccine, Family Says

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