Since the day he was born, little A.J. was a tiny, living newborn. This poor newborn has been left fighting for his life under hospital care, but it’s his father who feels completely helpless in this situation.
His heartbroken Dad is fully capable of saving his son’s life, except for some complicated red tape between the Atlanta hospital where A.J. is holding onto dear life, and the local police…
When Anthony Junior was born to mom Carmellia Burgess in 2016, he was a beautiful little boy. However, this mom’s bliss quickly turned to heartache when she learned her baby was not perfect, after all.
Little A.J. came into this world a little early and being a month premature, he had not yet developed kidneys, a vital organ of which he would need at least one to survive. Things looked grim for the tiny newborn, but someone fought for his survival…
Fighting for Life
“He has been fighting for his life since the day he came into this world,” Carmellia wrote on GoFundMe. “Due to this I have been unable to keep a stable job because of numerous doctor’s appointments and the smallest thing causing him to end up back and forth to the hospital.”
For the first 10 months of his life, A.J. lived in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Meanwhile, this single mother would rush back and forth to provide and care for her other children who desperately needed her at home…
Although Carmellia and A.J.’s father, Anthony Dickerson, whom he was named after, are no longer together, the dad says he would do anything to help save his boy. “That’s all I ever wanted — was a son,” Dickerson told local reporters. “And I finally got him, and he’s in this situation.”
Since the day A.J. was born, his name has been placed on a long waiting list of people like him who desperately need a kidney to survive. Even though A.J. has already beaten the odds at two-years-old today, he still weighs just 25 lbs. And won’t be able to live much longer without one…
Doctors knew they had to move faster to help save little A.J., so his relatives were tested to be matches to donate part of their kidney to the tiny toddler. It would be a bit far-fetched, as it is so difficult to find a match, but it seemed A.J. was a miracle boy after all.
A.J.’s father, Anthony Dickerson, turned out to be a perfect match to be an organ donor for his baby boy. Finding the perfect donor-recipient match can take many, many years before the procedure can be done, but it seemed the two-year-old wouldn’t have to wait any longer…
According to doctors, Anthony Dickerson was a “110 percent match” for his son, so it would make sense for them to want to schedule the complicated procedure as soon as possible. But unfortunately, they would have to put it on the back burner, while A.J.’s life laid on the line.
The problem was that while doctors desperately needed Anthony Dickerson’s kidney, this father had a bit of a bad record with police and took the compatibility test while he was in prison for violating probation on weapons charges. Luckily, he was due to be out in early October 2017 and could make the donation then…
All Anthony Dickerson had to do was keep his nose clean for a little while for the sake of his dying boy. It couldn’t be that hard, right? Unfortunately, once again, luck was not on his side and Dickerson almost immediately headed back to jail after a parole violation.
Dickerson was caught in possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempted commission of certain felonies but he wouldn’t stay in jail for long. Thankfully, he was a free man once again, just in time for the transplant operation to save his son…
More Bad News
Everything seemed like a go, but then the hospital decided that Dickerson’s parole-violation made him unsuitable as an organ donor for the little boy. “The lady said we need your parole information and your probation info. He said ‘why?’,” Carmellia explained.
Put On Hold
“We need you to be on good behavior for three to four months before you can give your son the kidney,” the hospital told Anthony Dickerson. They explained that they would reevaluate his behavior in January 2018, Carmellia said, even though it was clear A.J. didn’t have all that time to spare…
Emory Healthcare refused to speak on the subject and instead issued a statement explaining that organ transplants are designed to ensure success for organ recipients and they cannot share specific information about A.J.’s unique case. Meanwhile, his mother says A.J.’s health is failing and he needs bladder surgery as soon as possible.
Out On Bail
Twenty-six-year-old Anthony Dickerson, who has been in and out of jail multiple times for misdemeanors and once for first-degree forgery, is currently out of jail on a $2,600 bond and wants only to do the right thing for his son…
Promise to Son
The desperate dad made bail the day before the scheduled transplant and said he “made it his business to say once I get out [of jail] I’m gonna promise to my son that he can get a kidney,” only to learn it was cancelled. Emory Healthcare, even states its mission is “To Serve Humanity by Improving Health through integration of education, discovery and health care delivery.”
“What do he got to do with the mistakes I made? Nothing,” Anthony said. However, the hospital has ignored the father’s plea, which is reminiscent of Bible verse Deuteronomy 24:16: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”
Carmellia Burgess started this GoFundMe page in hopes to bring awareness to her family’s heartbreaking predicament and help pay for A.J.’s surmounting medical bills, but what they really need is for the hospital to reconsider. She also started this Care2 petition, the target being the “Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory Hospital.”
The Long Wait
However, even though A.J.’s story has received a lot of attention on social media and the petition has nearly reached its goal of 45,000 signatures, Carmellia fears none of it will make a difference until the hospital reconsiders. “He’s only 2,” she said. “He don’t deserve this. We’ve been waiting so long for this.”