National News

Two year-old in need of transplant develops pneumonia

Posted November 1, 2017 11:40 a.m. EDT

— A.J. Burgess, the little 2 year-old boy whose father has been denied the chance to give his young son a kidney transplant, has developed pneumonia and has not eaten in two days.

His mother, Carmella Burgess, told CBS46 News that A.J. has been diagnosed with peritonitis.

A.J., who weighs just 25 pounds, was born without a working kidney a month early. He spent 10 months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Scottish Rite.

His mother, Carmellia Burgess, must feed him through an IV and hook him up to dialysis every day. He was recently admitted to Egleston Hospital for an abdominal infection.

Carmellia tells CBS46 she believes her son is being punished because of the actions of his father. AJ's father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested and proved to be the perfect match to give his son a kidney, Burgess said. However, Dickerson's arrest record apparently has become an issue for the hospital's transplant team.

Dickerson got out of prison on a parole violation recently and was set to go through the proper procedures and donate his kidney to his son Oct. 3.

But he went back to jail a second time for violating the conditions of his parole.

"The lady said, 'We need your parole information and your probation info.' He said, 'Why?' 'We need you to be on good behavior for three to four months before you can give your son the kidney. And in January 2018, we will think about re-evaluating you, basically,'" said Burgess.

But Carmella believes January 2018 may be too late. She told CBS46 that AJ's body is starting to fail and he needs bladder surgery. She is hoping a petition she has set up online will bring awareness to his plight and help save her son's life.