WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A.J., a 2-year-old boy from Georgia was born without kidneys and was about to receive one from his father who is a perfect match.
- Anthony Dickerson was prepared to donate one of his kidneys to his son but was arrested days before the scheduled transplant operation.
- The 26-year-old father was released from jail on Oct. 2, but the transplant center at Emory University Hospital put the surgery on hold.
Anthony Dickerson had wished to donate a kidney to his 2-year-old son who’s been needing a kidney transplant since birth. But after being detained in a county jail, he is being forced to wait a little longer.
“That’s all I ever wanted was a son. And I finally got him, and he’s in this situation,” he told NBC affiliate WXIA news station in Atlanta.
“Dickerson was on probation over numerous charges that include forgery and theft. He was arrested on Sept. 28 on charges of possession of a firearm and fleeing or attempting to elude police,” said Shannon Volkodav, a spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
His arrest happened days before the transplant schedule. Gwinnett County Jail released Dickerson early this month to undergo surgery. Emory University Hospital’s transplant center however deferred the kidney transplant.
“Our staff worked diligently with court personnel and the District Attorney’s Office to make arrangements for Mr. Dickerson’s early release so that he could follow through on his scheduled kidney donation for his young son, AJ,” Volkodav told The Washington Post. Dickerson was finally released Oct. 2 on a $1,000 bond.
She also added, “We wish this family well in their pursuit of medical assistance for their son and hope that little AJ is soon enjoying good health.”
After his release, the transplant center backed down, the family said.
The kidney transplant team asked Dickerson to provide proof that he had obeyed his parole officer over the next three months.
“We will reevaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation,” the team at Emory said in a letter.
“It’s about my son,” said A.J.’s mother, Carmella Burgess. “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.”
A.J. suffered a stroke two months ago and badly needs the kidney transplant.
Emory Hospital spokesman Vincent Dollard issued a statement to The Post saying that they “follow certain guidelines regarding organ transplantation. Transplant decisions regarding donors are made based on many medical, social, and psychological factors. Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients.”