A 2-year-old boy could have a new kidney that is a 100 percent match, but Emory Hospital in Atlanta won’t perform the operation.
According to WXIA News, little A.J. has been left waiting for a kidney after being born without any. His mother says it’s all because of red tape between the hospital and police. The surgery was scheduled and the father was ready to give it over to his “miracle baby” but they were shut down.
“That’s all I ever wanted — was a son,” Anthony Dickerson told reporters. “And I finally got him, and he’s in this situation.”
Dickerson was arrested for violating his probation last month and charged with possession of a firearm. The Emory Hospital sent a letter to the jail asking if he could be brought briefly to the hospital for bloodwork and a pre-operative appointment at the end of September. They explained that they wanted to keep the surgery on schedule to save A.J.’s life.
Once he was released, he says that the hospital’s tone changed.
“The Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory has asked Mr. Dickerson for evidence of compliance from his parole officer for the next three months,” the hospital said in another letter after Dickerson was released. “We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation.”
But the family says that there is no reason a probation violation should stop the transplant, particularly since Dickerson is healthy and not using any kind of drugs.
“It’s about my son,” the boy’s mother said. “He’s been through a lot. It’s like we’ve been waiting on this. And Dad making a mistake shouldn’t affect what he wants to do with our son.”
The hospital refused to answer any of WXIA’s questions, saying only that the guidelines “for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize the risk for living donors.” They didn’t clarify how a 100 percent match isn’t a “maximized” chance or why the probation “minimizes the risk” to A.J.
WXIA asked how an arrest could impact donating a kidney but they refused to answer. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up and vetted by the site to help the family.
“What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing,” Anthony said. His words are reminiscent of the biblical quote “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin,” Deuteronomy 24:16.
Emory Healthcare lists its “mission” as being determined “To Serve Humanity by Improving Health through integration of education, discovery and health care delivery.”
“He’s only two,” A.J.’s mom said. “He don’t deserve this. We’ve been waiting so long for this.”
The boy suffered a stroke two months ago and he needs around-the-clock care as well as multiple doctor’s visits. Now he’s on a waiting list while a kidney that is a 100 percent match sits beside him.
“They’re making this about Dad,” Carmella said. “It’s about our 2-year-old son.”
Watch an interview with the family below: