A 15-year-old Atlanta boy who needs a new heart will not be placed on the transplant list, according to doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite.
Anthony Stokes has only 6 months to live if he doesn’t get a life-saving heart transplant. Stokes was diagnosed with an enlarged heart last month after he complained of shortness of breath.
But after discussing his case with transplant doctors, Anthony’s doctors at Scottish Rite told his mother, Melencia Hamilton (pictured left), that he is not a viable candidate for a transplant because of his past history of “noncompliance”.
Anthony’s outraged parents and supporters say the hospital is using Anthony’s criminal history and poor grades in school as excuses to deny him a chance at life.
“Every day is up and down. He’s OK one minute, the next minute he’s not,” Hamilton, told CBS Atlanta.
“He’s been given a death sentence because of a broad and vague excuse of noncompliance. There was nothing specific in that decision. Just noncompliance,” said Christine Young Brown with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The doctors decision may seem harsh, but there are so few pediatric hearts available for hundreds if not thousands of transplant candidates across the country that preference is always given to young patients who have a higher chance of achieving a post-transplant success rate.
CBS Atlanta obtained the letter that Hamilton said the hospital gave her.
“The decision was made that Anthony is currently not a transplant candidate due to having a history of non-compliance, which is one of our center’s contraindications to listing for heart transplant,” doctors explained in the letter.
“As we discussed today with Anthony’s mother, we will not place Anthony on the heart transplant waiting list at this time due to this decision,” the letter continues.
Doctors believe Anthony probably won’t follow the very strict post-op medication plan and follow-up treatments to prevent his bodies from rejecting the transplant.
If a teen has a history of gang banging, behavioral problems and/or drug use, it is a no brainer that he will not be considered for a heart transplant.