A two-year-old boy has been told he must wait for a life-saving kidney transplant, despite his father being a "110% match" for a donation – because he had spent time in jail. AJ Burgess, who was born prematurely without a working kidney and still only weighs 25 pounds, is in desperate need of an organ transplant – but surgeons at the Emory Hospital in Atlanta are refusing to operate.
The boy's father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested for suitability and shown to be a perfect match for his son, but at the time was in prison for violating his probation on weapons charges.
He spoke of how "he made it his business" to give his son the kidney he ends upon his release and went through all the necessary procedures for the operation to take place on release on 3 October.
However, he was soon sent back to jail for violating his parole again for possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies, reported CBS 46.
When he was released again, Dickerson was told that the operation now may need to be put back by a few months.
The boy's mother, Carmella Burgess said: "The lady said we need your parole information and your probation info. He said 'why?'
"We need you to be on good behaviour for three to four months before you can give your son the kidney. And January 2018 we will think about re-evaluating you,' basically."
It is feared AJ, who cannot walk, is fed intravenously and gets hooked up to a dialysis machine every day, will not survive until January 2018 for his operation.
In a statement to CBS 46, Emory Healthcare said it cannot discuss specific aspects of patient cases but commented that organ transplant procedures are designed to ensure success for the recipients.
A spokesperson added: "Emory Healthcare is committed to the highest quality of care for its patients. Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximise the chance of success for organ recipients and minimise risk for living donors.
"Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about patients."
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations to help cover hospital costs, as well as to raise awareness of their situation.