Toddler denied kidney transplant due to father’s incarceration rushed to hospital

“He has been fighting for his life”

Attorneys for a family frantically waiting to see whether their 2-year-old will be able to receive a kidney transplant from his father who is incarcerated said the child was rushed to a hospital overnight Monday, CBS46 News, an Atlanta CBS affiliate, reports.

‘Baby A.J.”s family reportedly asked the community for prayers as he was rushed to an emergency room with a peritonitis infection.

“He has been fighting for his life since the day he came into this world,” AJ’s mother, Carmellia Burgess, said in a GoFundMe campaign statement.

CBS46 reports A.J. Burgess, the toddler, was born without a functioning kidneys. Reports indicate the child, who weighs approximately 25 pounds, was born about a month early. His family said he spent 10 months in a neonatal intensive care unit.

‘Baby A.J.’ matched perfectly with his father as a kidney donor, but the father is incarcerated and has been denied a request to donate the kidney. CBS46 reports the hospital’s transplant team is concerned about the father’s arrest record.

A judge released the father from prison recently and he was scheduled to go through procedures to donate the kidney October 3, but he was arrested and put into jail once more for violating his parole, CBS46 reports.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the father, Anthony Dickerson, has a lengthy history of forgery and theft charges. The newspaper says that Dickerson was arrested Sept. 28 on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of attempted felonies.

Despite the arrest, law enforcement officials worked to release Dickerson from jail in time for the scheduled surgery, the AJC reports.

AJ’s mother feels her son is being punished due to the actions of his father, CBS46 reports.

“The lady said, ‘We need your parole information and your probation info.’ He said, ‘Why?’ ‘We need you to be on good behavior for three to four months before you can give your son the kidney. And in January 2018, we will think about re-evaluating you, basically,'” the mother, told CBS46.

Emory University Hospital Spokesperson Janet Christenbury told the AJC in a statement the hospital is committed to the highest quality of care for its patients.

“Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” Christenbury states. “Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients.”

AJ’s family has hired an attorney in an effort to put pressure on Emory University Hospital.


[Feature image: GoFundMe]