Hospital moves forward with toddler’s kidney donation after outrage


ATLANTA (WFLA)—The family of a Georgia toddler desperately in need of a kidney transplant says they are more optimistic the surgery will happen, WSB reports.

The news comes after Emory University Hospital said it would go ahead with the lifesaving transplant by approving a kidney donation from his father, a perfect match.

A.J. was born without kidneys and undergoes nightly dialysis to survive.  A.J. was initially denied a transplant because his father, Anthony D. Dickerson, 26, violated his probation last month. Dickerson was arrested for possession of a firearm.

The hospital’s decision garnered outrage and even sparked protests.

Emory Healthcare officials and doctors met with A.J.’s parents Thursday to discuss a plan for little A.J.

On Thursday night, Emory’s CEO apologized for what he called “a breakdown in communication,” NBC News reports.

Doctors say the transplant wouldn’t happen for a least a month since they must first clear pneumonia and an infection the toddler developed while waiting for the transplant.

The family addressed reporters at a press conference on Friday and said they’re feeling more confident about the surgery.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to give my son a kidney and I appreciate the community for supporting us,” said the child’s father, Anthony Dickerson.

“Through everything A.J. smiles you can’t look at him and tell anything is wrong with him on a day to day basis,” said his mother, Carmellia Burgess.

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