Anthony Stokes, the Georgia teenager who was denied a spot on the heart transplant list, will now get a shot at a new heart.
The 15-year-old was denied a spot on the list due to a “history of noncompliance,” which his mother, Melencia Hamilton, said meant the doctors didn’t have evidence he would take his medication or go to appointments. Hamilton said she knew her son would comply with the rules “because he knows that is how he has to live.”
Other family members and friends said that the hospital denied Stokes a spot on the list because he had low grades and trouble with the law. Hamilton said her son got into a fight because someone was bullying his brother.
Stoke, who has an enlarged heart, was given about six months to live. He has been in the hospital since July 14, and the family feared he would be sent home soon with just his medication.
Tuesday afternoon, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston reversed its decision and added Stokes to the heart transplant list.
“After reviewing the situation, they said Anthony would be placed on the list for a heart transplant and that he would be first in line, due to his weakened heart condition,” family spokesman Mark Bell said.
Bell said the hospital officials didn’t offer a reason for their reversal.
“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,” the hospital said in a statement. “Our physician experts are continuing to work with this family to establish a care plan and determine the best next steps for the patient.”
Anthony Stokes has dilated cardiomyopathy, which prevents the heart from pumping blood efficiently. If medication and heart devices fail to alleviate the symptoms, a transplant is the only other option.
What do you think of the hospital’s decision to add Anthony Stokes to the heart transplant list?