A black teen in Atlanta who needs a life-saving transplant is being denied due to his low grades, according to the 15-year-old boy's family and friends.
Doctors say Anthony Stokes only has 6 months to live because of an enlarged heart. But Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where he is receiving treatment, has said he doesn't qualify for a life-saving heart transplant because he failed his pre-transplant evaluation.
"Based on this meeting and discussion by our team, the decision was made that Anthony is currently not a transplant candidate due to having a history of noncompliance, which is one of our center’s contraindications to listing for heart transplant," the hospital said in a letter to Stokes' family.
Due to a lack of donors, hospitals have strict guidelines for who can receive an organ. Noncompliance generally refers to patients who refuse to take medications or fail to show up to clinic visits. But Stokes' family says the teen is considered noncompliant in part because of his low grades and trouble with the law.
“The non-compliance is fabricating, because they don’t want to give him a heart,” family friend Mack Major told WSBTV. “This is unacceptable because he must lose his life because of a noncompliance.”
The hospital has denied any wrongdoing.
"The well-being of our patients is always our first priority. We are continuing to work with this family and looking at all options regarding this patient's healthcare. We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for a transplant of any kind," a spokesperson said.
Watch video, courtesy of WSBTV, below: