Teen originally denied heart transplant will get new heart - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Teen originally denied heart transplant will get new heart

Anthony Stokes Anthony Stokes
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The family of a 15-year-old boy on the heart transplant list will get a new heart.

"He wanted to thank everybody for the support, and thank the doctors for changing their mind about doing a transplant," Melencia Hamilton said. 

Hamilton said hospital officials did not give a reason for the change.

"They came in and told me that they had a status change, and that is when they gave me the papers," Hamilton said.

Earlier this week, CBS46 News reported that Anthony Stokes learned he wasn't eligible for the transplant because doctors ruled him non-compliant.

The President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the state of Georgia, Rev. Samuel Mosteller, said that hospital officials did give a reason why Stokes was initially deemed non-compliant.

"We met with the transplant committee and they told us they were considering all the other stuff, which shocked us," Mosteller said.  "They talked about truancy, they talked about absence in school, juvenile, there was a list in those things - poverty was one of the criteria."

Stokes had worn an ankle monitoring device because of a fight in school. Mosteller said that it was innocent and Stokes does not fit the stereotype of somebody who is a criminal.

"They made a qualitative decision and there was some pre-judgment in there," Mosteller said. "That caused them to do some things that they shouldn't have."

The doctors have now reversed that decision and he will be put on transplant list.

"His heart is critical where he will be put at the top of the list when a heart comes available," Hamilton said. 

From the day Stokes was hospitalized, his mother said it's been a roller coaster of both emotions and sickness.

"Every day is up and down. He's OK one minute, the next minute he's not," Hamilton said.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta made a statement on the decision.

"As we stated previously, a heart transplant evaluation is an ongoing process based on the patient and his or her family's ability to meet specific transplant criteria. While there has been misinformation circulating, Children's cannot discuss the specifics of this case or any other case due to privacy rules," the statement said. "Our physician experts are continuing to work with this family to establish a care plan and determine the best next steps for the patient. At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, patient care is always our top priority."

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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