Atlanta Toddler Gets New Kidney After Being Denied Transplant Over Father’s Parole Violation
A.J. Burgess underwent life-saving surgery a day before Thanksgiving.
The family of an Atlanta toddler had their prayers answered just in time for the holidays. A.J. Burgess, whose story came to light after his father was blocked from donating his kidney due to a parole violation, underwent successful transplant surgery on Wednesday (Nov. 23).
The three-hour surgery took place at Emory University Hospital, and A.J.'s kidney is already working properly and producing urine.
AJ’s father, Anthony D. Dickerson, was a perfect match but his ability to donate a kidney to his son was put in jeopardy because he had been incarcerated for parole violation. After his release, Dickerson began the steps to donate his kidney, only to return to jail for violating his parole again. When he was released once more, the hospital required him to be on “good behavior for three to four months” before he was allowed to donate his kidney, and canceled the scheduled surgery last month.
A new surgery was scheduled for January, but the child’s parents feared that he wouldn’t be able to survive that long without a transplant.
Burgess was born without a working kidney. According to the family's lawyer, Muwali Davis, the toddler received his new kidney from a recently-deceased donor.
“Baby A.J. had a successful kidney transplant,” Davis told the press. “He is currently in recovery. His parents and family are overwhelmed with gratitude."