2-Year-Old Denied Kidney Transplant Because His Father Violated Probation

boy denied kidney transplant because dad violated probation
CBS News

As parents, we understand that our actions affect our children in profound ways. But when it comes to our mistakes, we can all agree that our kids should never have to bear the brunt of the consequences for our actions. That's why one Georgia family is devastated after their young son was recently denied a life-saving kidney transplant due to his father's criminal past.


Two-year-old A.J. Burgess was born about a month too soon. As a result of these complications, the little boy was also born with damaged kidneys. In order for A.J. to live the fullest, healthiest life possible, he needs a kidney transplant.

Fortunately, the boy's father, Anthony Dickerson, was found to be a 110 percent match for his son and planned to donate his kidney. Surgeries for Dickerson and his son were scheduled to be performed at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 3. 

little boy who needs kidney transplant
CBS News

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Unfortunately, Dickerson, who had previously gone to jail for weapons charges, was arrested again last month for violating his probation. He was granted a temporary release by the Gwinnett County jail to complete bloodwork and a preoperative appointment to ensure he was healthy enough to donate a kidney to his son.

But before the appointments could take place, the hospital sent A.J.'s mother a letter saying the procedures would have to be delayed until Dickerson could show that he had complied with the conditions of his parole for at least three months. A portion of the letter obtained by a local ABC News network read, "We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation."

boy who needs kidney transplant father probation
CBS News

A.J.'s mom Carmella Burgess says the family is distraught over the news. The mother says her son may not make it to 2018. With his body failing and even more surgeries needed, the timeframe that the hospital has provided may be too late. "He's only 2," she told WXIA News. "He doesn't deserve this. We've been waiting so long for this."

So far, Emory Healthcare has avoided commenting on its decision, issuing a statement to WGLC-TV that says it is not allowed to share information on specific cases: "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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A spokeswoman for the hospital did explain the reasons people may be denied a transplant due to their criminal history, telling WXIA News, "Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors. Transplant decisions regarding donors are made based on many medical, social, and psychological factors."

While the family continues to search for answers and fight for their son's life, A.J.'s mom has created a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for their ongoing medical expenses.

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