A Georgia hospital is refusing to perform a life-saving kidney transplant on a 2-year-old boy born without kidneys because his father – the only donor match – violated parole.
The toddler’s father, Anthony Dickerson, 26, has had several run-ins with law enforcement, including his latest arrest in September on weapons and forgery charges.
But says his mistakes shouldn’t impact his son’s chances at having a normal chance at life.
Little A.J.’s transplant surgery was scheduled for October 3 at Emory University Hospital but then the hospital learned his father was arrested the previous month, prompting them to cancel the surgery.
Now they are saying they will “re-evaulate” the surgery in January 2018, but only if Dickerson can provide written proof he completed probation.
But the boy may not survive until January, his mother told local media. He not only also needs bladder surgery, he suffered a stroke two months ago.
“What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing,” Dickerson said in an interview with wfmynews2.
A.J.’s mother, Carmella Burgess, says the violation shouldn’t stop the donation process, especially if Dickerson is healthy.
“Two steps closer to giving him a kidney and we got shut down, basically,” Burgess said.
“They’re making this about dad,” she said. “It’s not about dad. It’s about our son.”
“We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation,” a hospital representative wrote in a letter to A.J.’s parents.
Emory spokeswoman, Janet Christenbury, stated the hospital is committed to the highest quality of care for its patients, but would not elaborate as to who made the decision not to proceed with the surgery.
“Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients,” she said.
Although Dickenson has a troubled past, Burgess says he promised that his son would be one thing he did right in his life, according to the Atlanta Journal.
After finding out he was a 100 percent match to donate his kidney to A.J., Dickenson jumped at the opportunity to help him.
The family created a petition to urge the hospital to allow A.J.’s surgery sooner, which now has over 23,000 signatures as well as a GoFundMe page, which has reached $323 of its $1,000 goal.