Hospital Won't Let Dad Donate Kidney to His Sick 2-Year-Old Son Because of Gun Arrest

Parole violation means dad has to wait three months to donate


Screenshot via CBS

A.J. Burgess, a 2-year-old boy born without functional kidneys, is in desperate need of a transplant. His father, Anthony Dickerson, a perfect match, was prepared to undergo transplant surgery until he was arrested for violating his parole.

Dickerson was "in possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies," according to WGCL-TV. He's been released from prison, but the hospital won't perform surgery until his parole officer gives the okay.

That could take three to four months—the hospital wants to revisit the issue in January. Of course, there's no guarantee Burgess will live that long. He has to undergo dialysis every day. His body is failing. He has to have bladder surgery. He needs a kidney now, and a highly motivated donor—his father—is willing to give him one.

What dad's criminal record has to do with it is anyone's guess. The hospital has declined to answer reporters' questions, citing patient privacy laws.

Dickerson has made some bad personal choices in his life—he's been in and out of jail for years. Now he's trying to do something positive, and the hospital won't let him, primarily because he was involved with a weapon when he shouldn't have been.

Not to put too fine a point on this, because there's plenty else going on—it sounds like Dickerson was involved in criminal activity, independent of his illegal gun possession—but I suspect liberals like to imagine stricter gun control means a peaceful and voluntary gradual disarmament of a gun-weary citizenry.

Maybe that's gun control in theory. In practice, stricter gun control means giving the government more reasons to interfere in the lives of black and brown people who are already wary of the police. It mean rap sheets of low level offenders become lengthier—they did something bad, and they happened to have a weapon while they did it, even though one had nothing to do with the other. It means more people in color getting caught up on technicalities that ruin their lives and endanger the lives of their children.

Burgess's mother has set up a GoFundMe page for him here.