Father of 2-Year-Old Denied Kidney Transplant Speaks Out

Father of 2-Year-Old Denied Kidney Transplant Speaks Out
AJ Burgess (GoFundMe)
Jack Phillips

The father of a 2-year-old boy who is in the hospital, awaiting a kidney transplant, is speaking out after medical officials said they won’t perform the organ transplant.

A.J. Burgess was born prematurely without working kidneys and needs a transplant. His father, Atlanta man Anthony Dickerson, is a perfect match for the organ donation, WGCL-TV reported.

Dickerson said he wants to give his son his kidney, but doctors at Emory Hospital said they won’t perform the transplant operation because he served time after violating his probation. He also was charged with possession of a firearm.

“That’s all I ever wanted was a son,” Dickerson was quoted as saying by the local outlet. “And I finally got him, and he’s in this situation.”

An operation for A.J. was slated for Oct. 3, but then, a hospital official sent his mother, Carmellia Burgess, a letter saying that it would be delayed until it showed he could comply with his parole conditions for three months.

“They’re making this about Dad,” Burgess told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s not about Dad. It’s about our son.” Now, she’s accusing the hospital of treating her son unfairly.

CBS reported that Dickerson has been in trouble in the law before he was arrested last month on a probation violation.

“If Mr. Dickerson could be escorted to Emory for blood work and a pre-operative appointment tomorrow, Sept. 29, we will be able to continue with the scheduled surgery,” the alleged letter stated, per CBS.

A hospital letter then said the surgery has to be delayed until he can provide the proper paperwork from his parole officer. “We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation,” the letter said.

“He’s only 2,” she told WGCL. “He don’t deserve this. We’ve been waiting so long for this.”

Emory spokeswoman Janet Christenbury said they can’t comment on the transplant or Dickerson’s situation.

“Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” she said in a statement. “Transplant decisions regarding donors are made based on many medical, social, and psychological factors.”

Meanwhile, AJC.com reported that Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said that they had nothing to do with the delay in the boy’s transplant surgery.

What’s more, the sheriff’s office said they worked to make arrangements for Dickerson to get an early release for the transplant.

“Our staff worked diligently with court personnel and the District Attorney’s Office to make arrangements for Mr. (Anthony) Dickerson’s early release so that he could follow through on his scheduled kidney donation for his young son, AJ,” Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Volkodav told the newspaper.

A judge reduced his bonds from $2,600 to $2,000 due to his situation.

“We wish this family well in their pursuit of medical assistance for their son and hope that little AJ is soon enjoying good health,” Volkodav said.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5