A story about a little boy who is in dire need of a kidney transplant is tugging at heart strings. Little A.J. Dickerson was born without a working kidney. The premie spent the first 10 months of his life in neonatal intensive care.
For two years A.J. has been dependent on tube feeding and daily dialysis to keep him alive.
According to his mother, Carmelia Burgess, A.J.'s health is failing and he needs a kidney transplant "as soon as possible" to save his life.
Complicating the story even further is the boy's ex-con father, Anthony Dickerson, who is a perfect fit for a kidney donation, but he can't stay out of prison long enough to donate a kidney to his son.
Dickerson was released from prison earlier this year -- and he went through pre-op procedures to donate his kidney -- only to go right back into prison for violating his probation.
Emory hospital has since declined to perform the complex operation due to Dickerson's multiple probation violations, according to WGCL-TV's Karyn Greer.
Dickerson is a repeat felon with an extensive criminal rap sheet that includes armed robbery and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of multiple felonies.
After Burgess took her story to the local news media, Emory hospital agreed to perform the surgery IF Dickerson can stay out of jail for three months (January 2018).
According to the AJC.com, Emory hospital even requested an early release from jail for Dickerson to perform the necessary blood work and other procedures for the Oct. 3 operation.
“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,” an Emory official said in the letter dated Sept. 28.
But Dickerson was not released from jail until October 2 -- too late to perform blood work and other pre-op for such a complex surgery that was scheduled for the next day.
Not to mention surgery as complex as a kidney transplant would require at least 2 teams of doctors and nurses -- one team to remove the kidney from Dickerson and the other team to transplant the kidney into A.J.
It takes time to put such teams together. It simply can not be done in one day.
A.J.'s doctors are better qualified than news reporters to determine whether A.J. can survive until January for his operation.