At Atlanta 2-year-old is in desperate need of a lifesaving kidney transplant. As luck would have it, his father is more than a perfect match, but surgeons at Emory Hospital are refusing to do the surgery—at least for now—until his father can prove he can stay out of trouble for a few months.
However, little A.J. Burgess may not have that much time left.
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.
A.J. can’t walk, he needs to be fed intravenously and he is hooked up to dialysis every single day. He has suffered a stroke and his bladder is currently failing.
The little boy needs a kidney transplant immediately. And his father is a “110 percent match” for the tiny tot, according to the report. Things should be so simple. But apparently they’re not.
A.J. is being denied his lifesaving surgery because of his father’s criminal record.
The news station notes that A.J.’s father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested and proved to be the perfect donor for his son. However, at the time, he was behind bars, serving time for violating his probation on weapons charges.
“He made it his business to say, ‘Once I get out, I’m gonna promise to my son that he can get a kidney,’” A.J.’s mother, Carmella, told the news station.
Dickerson eventually got out and was set to go through the proper procedures to donate his kidney to his son on Oct. 3, but he then was put back in jail again for once again violating his parole for possession of a firearm or a knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.
This time, when he got out, things were very different.
“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 January 2018, we will think about re-evaluating you,’ basically,” Carmella said in explaining the exchange between Dickerson and officials.
But Carmella says she thinks that January 2018 may prove to be too late because of A.J.’s deteriorating health, and she has set up a GoFundMe to bring awareness to A.J.’s plight and provide funds for financial stability, since she is unable to keep a stable job because of A.J.’s needs.
Emory Healthcare told WGCL-TV in a statement that “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.”
Read more at WGCL-TV.