The mother of a 2-year-old boy in need of a kidney transplant started a petition after the child’s father, who is a 110 percent match, was told he could not yet donate his organ because he violated his parole.
Weighing only 25 pounds, AJ Burgess’ health is quickly deteriorating and his mother fears the worst. AJ was born a month early and without a working kidney. For 10 months, AJ was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Scottish Rite, reported CBS 46.
AJ's father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested and proved to be a match for his son, yet he was in prison for violating probation.
"He made it his business to say once I get out I'm gonna promise to my son that he can get a kidney," AJ's mother, Carmellia, told CBS 46.
Once Dickerson got out, he was preparing to go forward with the procedure to donate his kidney on October 3; however, before the day came, he was sent back to jail for violating his parole again for possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.
When he got out for the second time, officials at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta said he’d need to wait longer before he can donate.
"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," Carmellia told CBS 46.
Regarding AJ’s case, Emory Heathcare sent the following statement to CBS 46:
“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.”
Carmellia is afraid January 2018 may be too late and AJ’s body is starting to fail. She told CBS46 that AJ's body is starting to fail and he needs bladder surgery. Carmellia started a GoFundMe petition to help bring awareness to her situation.
On the website for the United Network for Organ Sharing, the following procedure is explained for organ transplants.
“You will need to answer all the questions that are asked. This includes questions about any history of “high risk” behaviors. The transplant staff will ask about your financial situation and talk about who can give you physical help and emotional support throughout the donation process. You will be asked to fully describe your reasons for wanting to donate and how it might affect your lifestyle (such as employment and family relationships). Involving your loved ones in the educational part of the evaluation process can be helpful. They can learn about the donation surgery and recovery process and support you in your decision.”