breaking news

7-vehicle pileup on Downtown Connector causes delays

Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant


AJ Burgess needs a kidney transplant.

His father is a perfect match, but the transplant team canceled a surgery after his arrest.

AJ was released from CHOA at Egleston on Wednesday. 

A 2-year-old Gwinnett County boy in desperate need of a transplant surgery is heading home from the hospital after more than a week, his family said.

After battling a potentially deadly infection, contracting pneumonia, having surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and receiving blood transfusions, AJ Burgess was released from the hospital Wednesday, attorney Mawuli Davis said in a news release.

“He will be recovering at home with his family in preparation for a transplant surgery to receive his father's kidney,” Davis said.

AJ has been battling for his life since he was born without kidneys, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

His father, Anthony Dickerson, is a perfect match and a willing donor, but the transplant team at Emory Hospital canceled a scheduled surgery after Dickerson was arrested on a probation violation. 

MORE: Family says 2-year-old will get dad’s kidney before year’s end

After developing an infection, AJ was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta at Egleston on Oct. 29 and needed surgery and other treatment, mother Carmellia Burgess said through the family’s law firm.

But while AJ fought to heal, officials with Emory resumed conversations about whether Dickerson would be permitted to donate a kidney. 

IN-DEPTH: Can a man’s criminal past prevent him from donating kidney to son?

Essentially, the transplant team worried Dickerson might not follow through with post-operative care and put his own health at risk, Emory previously said in a statement to the AJC.

“Removal of a kidney is major surgery,” said the statement. “Recovery for a living donor entails consistent follow-up visits with the transplant team for approximately two years following surgery to ensure proper function of the remaining kidney and to avoid future health problems.”

Dickerson now has a mentor from the Georgia Transplant Foundation to see him through the process.

Davis said the family remains encouraged by AJ’s strength and resilience, and by the support from local activists and leaders: “The family thanks the community for the overwhelming love and support and ask for their continued prayers through this difficult ordeal." 

In other news:


Next Up in Local

Is being creepy enough to be banned from youth sports?
Is being creepy enough to be banned from youth sports?

Georgia’s mandatory reporting laws protect anyone who reports suspected child abuse to law enforcement from being sued for defamation. But what about when someone’s behavior is simply, well, creepy? Or what if police find insufficient evidence to build a criminal case? Legal experts say coaches, administrators and others in positions of...
7-vehicle pileup on Downtown Connector causes delays 
7-vehicle pileup on Downtown Connector causes delays 

A seven-vehicle pileup with injuries is causing heavy delays on the Downtown Connector in Midtown. The accident temporarily shut down all northbound lanes at 17th Street early Monday, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Lanes started to reopen about 6 a.m.  “Still slow back toward Grady (Memorial) Hospital,” the...
Eagle’s Landing friction: 5 things to know about new proposed Henry County city
Eagle’s Landing friction: 5 things to know about new proposed Henry County city

Leaders of the city of Stockbridge are in a battle with some of their constituents over an effort to form a separate town by breaking away from a portion of the Henry County community. Residents of Eagle’s Landing, comprising a number of largely wealthy neighborhoods in southern Stockbridge, are trying to break away and form a separate city....
Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon
Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon

Selling raffle tickets to benefit an athletic team is not new, but having an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon as the prize is drawing heavy criticism in the wake of the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 and injured dozens, The Kansas City Star reported. Third-graders in the southern Missouri city of Neosho were selling the tickets to...
John Kasich rips Congress, urges 'common-sense gun laws'
John Kasich rips Congress, urges 'common-sense gun laws'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who signed laws making it legal to carry concealed weapons at daycare facilities and college campuses, said he has “no confidence” Congress will approve what he called “common-sense gun laws” in the wake of a mass shooting last week at a Florida high school. During an interview Sunday on CNN’s &ldquo...
More Stories