The teen has a genetic kidney disorder that requires a transplant, but her family said last year that Duke was refusing to put Yulia on the kidney wait list because she is unvaccinated against COVID. Notably, the family says Yulia has already recovered from the virus.
“We are thrilled to announce our daughter Yulia Hicks will finally be receiving her kidney transplant at another North Carolina hospital, on Thursday,” Chrissy Hicks, Yulia’s mother, exclusively told The Daily Wire on Monday. “She was denied her transplant at Duke University due to our refusal to give her the COVID vaccine.”
“We are eternally indebted to her generous live donor,” Hicks added. “Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers.”
The Daily Wire reported last year that a phone call, the recording of which was obtained by journalist Alex Berenson, revealed a Duke health official telling the Hicks family that Yulia must get vaccinated against COVID before she could 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 said 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 on the call.
Chrissy Hicks told The Daily Wire that Yulia was headed to the hospital on Monday morning for a pre-operational consultation. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday.
According to a fundraiser set up for the Hicks family on platform GiveSendGo last year, Yulia was adopted into the Hicks family from Ukraine two years ago.
“The Hicks family adopted Yulia from the Ukraine in January of 2021 knowing that she had a genetic kidney condition that would eventually require surgery,” the fundraiser said. “She fit in right away with Lee and Chrissy’s 10 other children, 2 of which are also adopted.”
“For the sake of Christ crucified, donate what you can to this wonderful family that has done so much good for others,” the account added.