Petitioning Emory Hospital and 1 other

Approve life-saving kidney transplant for 2-year-old boy before it's too late

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Emory Hospital has denied a life-saving kidney transplant for 2-year-old boy, A.J. because of father's probation violation.

Mother, Carmella Burgess was excited for her miracle baby, A.J., who was prematurely born without functioning kidneys. For the family, the surgery was something they had been waiting for the child's entire life and would bring such relief and joy to not only her but her son as well.

Father, Anthony Dickerson, who is 100% perfect match for his son was arrested for violating his probation in September. Prior to Dickerson's release, it seemed as if Emory Hospital was still on board for the surgery, sending a letter to the Gwinnett County Jail stating, "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."

However, once Dickerson was released, the family suffered from the news that Emory Hospital would no longer perform the scheduled October 3 kidney transplant, leaving the family with the kidney transplant wait list as the only option, which could desperately take a long time. "The Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory [has] asked Mr. Dickerson for evidence of compliance from his parole officer for the next three months. We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation." When asked how someone being arrested impacts the possibility of donating a kidney, Emory Hospital was unwilling to provide an answer. 

Emory Hospital states that they operate under core values, with their first core value being: caring. Caring: We demonstrate concern and compassion for our patients and their families, treating each person with dignity as we attend to the needs of the mind, body, and spirit. Denying a life-saving surgery to a family and child in need is not demonstrating concern and compassion. Having the ability to stop a child from suffering but choosing not to does not show dignity. You cannot pick and choose when to follow your own core values. They should be applied to every patient and every family, no matter the person or situation. 

I've created this petition to get the attention of The Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory Hospital and CEO of Emory Healthcare, Jonathan C. Lewin, with the hopes that the team will have a change of heart and perform the kidney transplant at the family's earliest convenience. 

A child should not deal with consequences of his father's mistake. And a father should not feel disappointed in himself for a mistake he made that should not even be a factor when it comes to saving a child's life. This story has touched my heart in a way that refuses to allow me to sit here and not try to do anything about it, so please, Emory Hospital, on the behalf of the Burgess and Dickerson family, I ask that you appeal your decision on A.J.'s kidney transplant and choose to perform the operation as soon as possible. Thank you.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Emory Hospital
  • Jonathan S. Lewin


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