Father stopped from donating kidney to two-year-old son 'due to criminal record'

'What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing'

Rachael Revesz
Monday 30 October 2017 11:47 GMT
A J had stroke two months ago and needs constant care
A J had stroke two months ago and needs constant care (WTSP / YouTube screengrab)

Life-saving surgery for a two-year-old boy has been put on hold due to what his mother describes as red tape at the hospital.

A J was born without kidneys and suffered a stroke two months ago. He needs constant care and doctor visits.

His father, Anthony Dickerson, was found to be a perfect match for an organ donation, and was scheduled to donate his left kidney to his son in October.

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta decided to delay surgery until next year after finding out Mr Burgess violated his parole when he was charged with possession of a firearm.

The boys’ mother, Carmella Burgess, told local news station WTSP, "Two steps closer to giving him a kidney and we got shut down, basically."

She added that she was surprised about the hospital's decision because it had initially been supportive of their situation.

The hospital told WTSP it could not discuss the boy’s case due to patient confidentiality rules.

Janet Christenbury, an Emory spokeswoman, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors. Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients"

The hospital first wrote a letter to Gwinnett County Jail on 28 September requested Mr Dickerson be escorted to hospital the following day for pre-operative testing, otherwise the surgery would have to be rescheduled.

But after Mr Dickerson was released from custody on 2 October, in time for surgery the next day, the hospital reportedly changed its tone.

The hospital asked him for evidence of compliance from his parole officer for three months, saying they would re-evaluate his case in January 2018.

It is unclear why the hospital changed its plan and the surgery has not been rescheduled for this year.

"What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing," the boy’s father said.

The Gwinnett County Sheriff's office denied that it had interfered in the hospital's plans, and instead the office had lowered Mr Dickerson's bail from $2,600 to $2,000 and released him in time for the surgery, as reported by the AJC.

The family said their only option is to sign on to the kidney transplant waiting list, but that could take a long time.

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