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Atlanta Boy Put on Heart Transplant List After Being Denied Because of Poor Grades, Behavior

A 15-year-old Atlanta boy whose family had been told he didn’t qualify for a heart transplant has been added to the transplant list, the boy’s family told Channel 2 Action News.

Anthony Stokes, who doctors said has less than six months to live if he doesn’t get a new heart, was initially deemed unqualified for a heart because of a history of non-compliance. But after the story ran over the weekend—and went viral on social media—the family of the DeKalb County teen called Channel 2 with the update Tuesday afternoon, three days after the initial story aired.

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

Hamilton said a transplant is the only fix for her son’s enlarged heart.

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

While the doctors didn’t publicly state why the teen wasn’t being put on the list, family friends told the Channel 2 News reporter that it was 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 said. “This is unacceptable because he must lose his life because of a non-compliance.”

Christine Young Brown, president of the Newton Rockdale County SCLC, even stated that the hospital “had given him a death sentence.” 

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.”

Anthony has been in the hospital since July 14.

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