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Family says Dekalb Teen being denied heart transplant

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Updated: 8/12/2013 11:26 am
ATLANTA, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- A 15-year-old boy in DeKalb County is in desperate need of a heart transplant but doctors say he doesn’t qualify for the transplant list.

Anthony Stokes is receiving treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Doctors have told his family that Anthony has less than six months to live, but he can’t be put on the transplant list because of a history of non-compliance.

“They said they don’t have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups,” said Melencia Hamilton, Anthony’s mother.

Hamilton told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas that the transplant is the only fix for her son’s enlarged heart.

Keepers of the nation’s transplant list have strict guidelines about who qualifies, and while doctors didn’t specify the reason, family friends told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas they’ve been told it’s partly because Anthony has had low grades and trouble with the law.

“The non-compliance is fabricating, because they don’t want to give him a heart,” family friend Mack Major told Thomas. “This is unacceptable because he must lose his life because of a non-compliance.”

“They've given him a death sentence,” said Christine Young Brown, president of the Newton Rockdale County SCLC.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta spokeswoman Patty Gregory said in a statement, “The well-being of our patients is always our first priority. We are continuing to work with this family and looking at all options regarding this patient's health care. We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for a transplant of any kind.”

“I know it's wrong, because if they get to know him, they would love him,” Hamilton said.

Anthony has been at the hospital since July 14. Family members told Thomas he could be sent home soon and kept on his medication.

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guttergirl - 8/12/2013 1:47 PM
0 Votes
son. By the way, please don't construe this as a white against black opinion, because my daughter was white. It is heartbreaking that his can be done to young people who have no idea of the results of their actions. At their age, they are invincible and couldn't perceive the notion of dying. I will pray for this family for peace, though it doesn't come easily. I still have no peace because I will ALWAY miss my daughter - every day and night for the remainder of my living days.

guttergirl - 8/12/2013 1:44 PM
0 Votes
Sad to hear, but welcome to the world of transplant. The only field of medicine where they can (and do) refuse treatment to save a life. I can say this because the same thing happened to my daughter. She was denied a liver at Emory hen she was 23 - for no specific reasons, other than (their decision of) non-compliance. The told me they agreed a donated liver would be better used on someone else. So they tried, convicted and executed myhter. She left behind a two-year old who loved her so much. Now I don't even get to see the son because there are no rights for grandparents in Florida. So I lost a loving daughter and best friend, a dear grandson and my will to enjoy life. Nobody in our family has contact with her
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