Anthony Dickerson, 26, the father of two-year-old Anthony Burgess, a.k.a. A.J. was arrested after violating his parole for being in possession of a firearm. Dickerson, who has been in and out of jail over the past six years possesses a lengthy criminal record for committing misdemeanors and felonies.
A.J. was born a month premature at Scottish Rite Hospital without his kidneys. He spent the first 10 months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit and has since spent bouts of time in and out of the hospital due to his inability to sustain a healthy weight.
It can be very tedious waiting for a donor on the transplant list. Dickerson didn’t hesitated for a moment after discovering he was a perfect match to donate a kidney to his son. Around the time of the scheduled transplant surgery, however, Dickerson had a run-in with the law and was sent back to jail.
A.J.’s parents Carmellia Burgess and Dickerson stated in an interview with Atlanta CBS station WGCL, that their son was scheduled for a kidney transplant at Emory University on October 3, but the hospital cancelled the surgery after explaining that Dickerson’s criminal history and parole violation was the cause.
There were efforts initially made by Emory University Hospital to move forward with the transplant surgery after learning the donor, Dickerson, had been arrested and jailed. In an interview with WFMY News 2, Dickerson stated that the hospital sent a letter to the Gwinnett County Jail, reading, “Mr. Dickerson is currently in custody for a parole violation. If Mr. Dickerson could be escorted to Emory for blood work and a pre-operative appointment tomorrow, September 29, we will be able to continue with the scheduled surgery” (Abdulahi 2017, p.8).
Dickerson was released from jail on a $2,600 bond in October to discover that Emory University Hospital had cancelled the transplant surgery which was scheduled for the following day. Despite the cancellation, the hospital claims it will reevaluate their position on the topic in January 2018.
The family feels it is absurd that the hospital is putting their son’s life-changing surgery on hold for three months.. They do not believe that their A.J. should suffer for his father’s mistakes.
Burgess has created a GoFundMe account to assist with the expenses that accompany A.J.’s health conditions. The family hopes to draw more attention to the issue in the hopes of getting Emory University Hospital to approve the life saving kidney transplant surgery.
Abdulahi, Neima. “Child Denied Kidney Transplant From Dad Due To Dad’s Probation Violation.” Http://Www.wfmynews2.Com/News/Local/2-Wants-to-Know/Kidney-Transplant-for-2-Year-Old-Is-on-Hold-Due-to-Red-Tape/483232607, 18 Oct. 2017.
Abel, Jennifer . “A.J. Burgess & Anthony Dickerson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Http://Heavy.com/News/2017/10/Aj-Burgess-Anthony-Dickerson-Atlanta-Kidney-Transplant-Criminal-Record/, 16 Oct. 2017.
Phillips, Jack. “Father of 2-Year-Old Denied Kidney Transplant Speaks Out.” Https://Www.theepochtimes.com/Father-of-2-Year-Old-Denied-Kidney-Transplant-Speaks-out_2335238.Html, 17 Oct. 2017.