ATLANTA - The 2-year-old boy who has become known as 'Baby AJ' was released Wednesday from Egleston's Children's Hospital.
A.J. Burgess came to the hospital after battling a potentially deadly infection, contracting pneumonia, surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and receiving blood transfusions.
He will be recovering at home with his family in preparation for a transplant surgery to receive his father's kidney.
After weeks of protests, Emory Healthcare agreed last Friday to move forward with letting the child's father, who is a 100 percent match, to donate this kidney.
His family released the following statement about his release from the hospital on Wednesday.
"The family is encouraged by the strength and resilience of this amazing child. Baby AJ has battled and won his recent bouts only to continue to fight to be ready to receive his kidney from his father. We are working with Emory to expeditiously have Baby AJ's father medically cleared to donate his kidney when Baby AJ is healthy enough for the transplant surgery. The family thanks the community for the overwhelming love and support and ask for their continued prayers through this difficult ordeal." Attorney Mawuli Davis, Davis Bozeman Law Firm
Baby AJ's father, Anthony Dickerson is scheduled to begin the reevaluation process this Friday.
BACKGROUND ON THE BABY A.J. STORY
A.J. was born without kidneys. Dickerson is a 100 percent match and wants to donate a kidney to his son, but Emory initially denied the transplant because his father had recently violated his parole.
"I'm going to whatever it takes to get my son a kidney," Dickerson said. "I appreciate the community for supporting us."
Facing mounting pressure and criticism, the CEO of Emory Healthcare apologized last Thursday night for what he calls “a breakdown in communication” with the boy’s parents.
The statement was issued after Lewin met with Dickerson and Carmellia Burgess, along with their attorneys and other members of the community.
Emory has been the focus of numerous demonstrations and prayer vigils over its denial of the kidney donation. On Thursday, a group of demonstrators led by former Atlanta city councilman Derrick Boazman demanded a meeting with Lewin.
The child's family has set up an online fundraising campaign to help with medical expenses, which can be found by clicking here.
Later in the day, Lewin issued a statement that said, "The national guidelines for approving a potential organ donor are clear and stringent. When evaluating any potential donor, Emory's medical team is required to consider the ability of the donor to manage the many complications and health challenges that come with a major surgical procedure.”
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