Human Rights

Atlanta Hospital Blocks Father from Donating Kidney to His 2-Year-Old Son Because of a Parole Violation

The boy suffered a stroke two months ago.

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from video.

A 2-year-old boy could have a new kidney that is a 100 percent match, but the Florida police are preventing it from happening.

According to WXIA News, young A.J. has been left waiting for a kidney after being born without any. His mother says it’s all due to 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 Dickerson 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.”

The family says that there is no reason a probation violation should stop the transplant, particularly since Dickerson is healthy and not using any 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.

“What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing,” Anthony Dickerson said.

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 needs around-the-clock care as well as multiple doctor visits. 

“They’re making this about dad,” his mother said. “It’s about our 2-year-old son.”

A GoFundMe campaign to pay medical costs for the child has already raised more than $5,500.

Watch an interview with the family below:

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Sarah K. Burris covers digital media and politics for Raw Story.