An Atlanta family is left waiting for their toddler’s kidney transplant after the hospital denied the child’s father, a perfect match, the surgery due to his recent parole violation.
According to WTSP-TV, two-year-old A.J., who was born without kidneys, may have to wait until at least January for a transplant surgery originally scheduled for Oct. 3. His father, Anthony Dickerson, is set to donate his left kidney to the toddler, but has received pushback from the hospital after being arrested for violating his probation and charged with possession of a firearm in September.
Atlanta’s Emory Hospital had originally requested to proceed with the surgery, writing to the Gwinnett County Jail to have Dickerson be escorted to the hospital for blood work and a pre-operative appointment. However, once Dickerson was released, the hospital pivoted.
“The Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory has asked Mr. Dickerson for evidence of compliance from his parole officer for the next three months. We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation,” the hospital later wrote to the family.
The family says A.J. had a stroke two months ago and needs frequent doctor’s appointments and constant care. Now they’ve put him on the kidney transplant waiting list, which can take anywhere from months to years to be matched.
According to the news station, Emerson Healthcare responded to requests for comment with a statement that said, “guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize the risk for living donors.”
The hospital did not respond to questions regarding how Dickerson’s arrest would affect the kidney donation. A.J.’s family, meanwhile, says the toddler shouldn’t be affected by Dickerson’s probation violation, particularly because he was approved for the transplant and not using drugs.
“Two steps closer to giving him a kidney and we got shut down, basically,” A.J.’s mother Carmella Burgess told the news station. “It’s about my son. He’s been through a lot. It’s like we’ve been waiting on this. And Dad making a mistake shouldn’t affect what he wants to do with our son.”
Watch the entire interview with the family below:
H/T Raw Story
Update 2:43 CT, Oct. 17: Burgess has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for A.J.’s medical expenses and to support her family. According to Burgess, A.J.’s constant hospitalizations and medical issues have left her unable to stay employed. The campaign has so far raised more than $5,000 of her $7,000 goal since its launch three days ago.