Father Barred From Donating Kidney to 2-Year-Old Son After Arrest
Two-year-old AJ Burgess was born without kidneys. His father, Anthony Dickerson, is a perfect donor match, but after Dickerson’s was arrested in late September for violating his parole, Emory University Hospital stalled the surgery. Burgess was supposed to receive a new kidney on October 3.
Dickerson was arrested for possession of a firearm — a violation of his parole. He had previously been arrested on theft and forgery charges, according to NBC News.
Emory University Hospital sent a letter to the Gwinnett County Jail, asking that Dickerson be escorted to the hospital for pre-surgery blood work. According to the Sheriff’s Office, they worked to get Dickerson out of jail by the surgery date.
After working with the police department, the hospital sent a letter to Carmellia Burgess, the boy’s mother. The letter said the hospital needed evidence that Dickerson could comply with parole for three months before a transplant could happen.
“We’ve been waiting for so long for this, and we were right at the front door,” Carmellia told NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA.
Guidelines for organ transplants are “designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” an Emory spokeswoman said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
These guidelines mean Burgess may have to wait until January to get his transplant. However, his mother is trying to find a way to help her son sooner, especially after Burgess was hospitalized in late October for peritonitis, an infection in the abdomen common among those on dialysis. Burgess is currently in a critical but stable condition.
According to the family’s GoFundMe page, Burgess’s mom is on the hunt for a new hospital that will do the surgery sooner than January.
The Mighty reached out to Emory University Hospital and the Burgess family and has yet to hear back.
Photo via GoFundMe