A.J. Burgess’s condition has worsened after his family said he contracted pneumonia while awaiting a much-needed kidney transplant.
His family said he has not eaten for more than 24 hours after recently going two days without eating, WGCL reports.
The 2-year-old, who was born without functioning kidneys, reportedly weighs 25 pounds. His father is a medical match to be a donor, but was released from jail the day before the scheduled transplant.
Doctors at Emory University Hospital told the father they will not allow the transplant to take place until he demonstrates a pattern of good behavior.
Hospital administrators said they would reevaluate the situation in January 2018, but the boy’s mother is not sure her child has that long to live, according to WGCL.
Doctors must perform important procedures before and after the transplant, which include the participating donor. The hospital reportedly wants to ensure the father will follow through with said procedures.
Protesters marched into Emory University Hospital and demanded a meeting with officials, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Emory Healthcare CEO Dr. Jonathan S. Lewin released a statement on the situation Thursday, according to ABC News.
“We greatly respect the father’s desire to become a donor and we want to work with him to try and make this happen,” he said.
“The national guidelines for approving a potential organ donor are clear and stringent when evaluating any potential donor,” Lewin’s statement continued. “Emory‘s medical team is required to consider the ability of the donor to manage the many complications and health challenges that come with a major surgical procedure … It is our desire to continue to work with A.J.’s parents to work through this process. We want a successful transplant for A.J. and we also want a positive outcome for his father or any other potential living donor.”
[Featured image: WGCL/CBS46]