Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant


Highlights

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

Cobb cop accused in mentally disabled woman’s assault was once a police chief 
Cobb cop accused in mentally disabled woman’s assault was once a police chief 

Roughly 20 years before Robert Lanier New became embroiled in assault allegations tied to a mentally disabled woman and her niece, he served as the police chief in Emerson.  City officials confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that New had two stints with Emerson police. New first served with the department from September 1998 to February 1999, when...
SATURDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Expect more strong afternoon downpours across Georgia
SATURDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Expect more strong afternoon downpours across Georgia

Saturday: High: 89 Saturday night: Low: 73 Sunday: High: 91 Severe thunderstorms tore across North Georgia Friday, downing many trees and power lines in the process. While they shouldn’t be as intense as Friday’s, similar storms are expected Saturday afternoon, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Katie Walls said. “Just...
Atlanta metro population on pace to pass Philadelphia as 8th largest

Metro Atlanta, which has repeatedly outgrown other large American metro areas in recent years, is on pace to overtake Philadelphia as the United States’ eighth-largest by 2022, according to U.S. Census data. Atlanta’s 2017 growth rate of 1.5 percent, higher than eight of the top ten American metro areas, is reflective of the region&rsquo...
JUST IN: Suspect arrested, accused of killing 68 year-old woman
JUST IN: Suspect arrested, accused of killing 68 year-old woman

A man accused of killing killing a 68-year-old woman he allegedly robbed was arrested a week after being on the run, police said.  Sergio Moon, 30, is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Monroe police said in a post on its Facebook page. He was arrested at a Norcross home.  MORE: ...
2 injured in wreck; took 45 minutes to extricate driver
2 injured in wreck; took 45 minutes to extricate driver

A head-on collision in Habersham County required both drivers to be extricated and removed from the vehicles, authorities said. The accident took place on Ga. 115 westbound near Habersham Mills Road, according to a Habersham County Emergency Services news release. One driver required a rear window to be broken for first responders to remove him or...
More Stories