Criminal Justice

2-Year-Old Denied a Kidney Transplant Because of Dad's Gun Arrest Is Now Very Sick

Must wait three months because of dad's parole



Remember A.J. Burgess, the 2-year-old boy whose kidney transplant was put on hold after the hospital discovered that Burgess's donor—his father, Anthony Dickerson—was on parole?

Well, Burgess was rushed to the emergency room over the weekend. He's sick with an abdominal infection, according to The Washington Post.

It is abundantly clear that Burgess—who was born without working kidneys—needs a transplant immediately. His father is a perfect match, and was set to give A.J. a kidney on October 3rd. Unfortunately, Dickerson was arrested for possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He's been released from prison, but hospital officials now say they will wait another three months to decide whether to accept Dickerson's kidney donation.

"We will reevaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation," Emory University hospital told the family.

The hospital is entitled to follow its own procedures, but waiting that long does not seem wise—especially if Dickerson's status as a criminal is indeed the only issue. These kinds of headaches are a reminder how difficult life is for people who run afoul of the criminal justice system, and for their kids.