Health

Boy Denied Kidney Transplant Because of Father’s Criminal Record, Family Claims

A 2-year old boy in Atlanta has been denied a life-saving kidney transplant from his father because of his father’s criminal record, a local news station reported.

Although medical testing has declared that A.J. Burgess’ father, Anthony Dickerson, is a perfect match for the transplant, the boy’s mother said they were told that surgeons at Emory Hospital won’t perform the procedure until Dickerson has completed his probation.

According to WGCL-TV, A.J., who weighs a mere 25 pounds, was born one month premature, without a working kidney. He spent 10 months in the neonatal intensive care unit and since then has been struggling with his health. The child, who has suffered a stroke and has a failing bladder, is unable to walk and is fed intravenously.

Dickerson, who said he was told he is a “110 percent match” for his son, was in prison at the time he was declared a match for his son, serving time for violating his probation on weapons charges.

He was eventually released and set to go through procedures to donate his kidney to his son on Oct. 3, but he then was put back in jail for a parole violation.

Dickerson won’t be considered again for the surgery until January, the boy’s mother said, but she believes A.J.’s health is deteriorating too quickly to wait. She has set up a crowdfunding page to bring awareness to her son’s plight.

Emory Heathcare issued the following statement:

Emory Healthcare 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. Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about patients.

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