The family of a 2-year-old boy whose kidney transplant from his father was delayed despite it being a perfect match says they've retained the services of an attorney.
A.J. Burgess was born without kidneys. Anthony Dickerson, the boy's father, is being denied the opportunity to donate his healthy kidney to his son because he recently violated his probation. The story has spread across the globe after it first aired on 11Alive two weeks ago.
Former Atlanta City Councilman and community activist Derrick Boazman joined other civil rights leaders at a news conference in front of Emory Hospital’s main campus on Thursday.
Boazman, as well as other supporters, demanded hat the hospital proceed with the planned kidney transplant for A.J. Burgess.
Emory informed the family that Dickerson would have to exhibit “good behavior” for three to four months before he could donate his kidney to his son. Emory advised the family that they would reevaluate the situation again in January 2018, but Boazman fears this may be too late.
“It is simply unbelievable that Emory Hospital is risking the life of this young baby over this issue. They are allowing this child to suffer in order to play the morality police about the father’s legal issues. What in the hell is going on here? This appears to be an obvious case of discrimination. Would Emory be asking these same questions if Baby A.J.’s parents were white? I don’t think so.”
Boazman and other supporters are demanding a meeting with the medical director of Emory Hospital and are planning other actions if things do not change.
Activists said they are planning a protest on Tuesday at the Emory location on Clifton Road to urge the hospital to allow the donation to happen.
Emory Hospital said it can't answer questions about this specific case due to patient confidentiality rules. It did say that transplant decisions are based on many medical, social and psychological factors.