CBS Local — A two-year-old boy, in desperate need of a new kidney, is being forced to wait until next year for an operation after his father violated his probation. The toddler’s Georgia hospital says the father’s latest trip to prison has caused them to re-evaluate performing the life-saving transplant.
WGCL-TV reports that A.J. Burgess was born a month premature and without a working kidney. The boy spent 10 months in a neonatal intensive care unit and now weighs just 25 pounds.
A.J.’s father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested and found to be a perfect match to donate a kidney to his son. Unfortunately, the process stalled after Dickerson, who had recently been released from prison, was sent back to jail for violating his parole. Dickerson was reportedly sent back after being charged with possession of a firearm or knife during the attempt to commit felonies.
After Dickerson’s latest release, Emory University Hospital reportedly postponed the child’s October 3 surgery to review the father’s fitness to donate under the hospital’s behavioral policies. “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,” A.J.’s mother Carmella told WGCL-TV.
“They’re making this about dad. It’s not about dad. It’s about our son,” the mother said. Emory Hospital reportedly sent a letter to the family stating that A.J.’s surgery would be revisited in January if his father submits the proper parole paperwork after three months of good behavior. “Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” Emory Healthcare added in a statement.
The family has started a GoFundMe page spread awareness of her son’s condition which she says continues to worsen. Ms. Burgess says her son’s body is failing and he now need bladder surgery as well. “I’m just taking it day by day. That’s all we can do,” she added.