Mom: Son in need of heart transplant deserves a second chance

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that you can rarely count on a 15-year-old.

The fact almost cost Anthony Stokes his life.

The young man from the Atlanta area has an enlarged heart, a diagnosis that was made only four weeks ago when he complained of shortness of breath and chest pains.

He needs a heart transplant. But he wasn’t going to get one until his mother, Melencia Hamilton, went on NBC’s Today Show today to explain how the transplant business works.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta declined to put her son on the transplant list because he has a history of “noncompliance” when it comes to taking medications and keeping appointments. She thinks, though, it has more to do with his scrapes with the law.

Not long after the interview ran this morning, the hospital relented and said because of his weakened heart, he’ll get a spot on the transplant list.

A family spokesman said the hospital didn’t give a reason for the change of heart.

He’s a young boy,” Hamilton said. “He’s going to make mistakes, but I still think he deserves a second chance.”

  • KTFoley

    To connect the dots more bluntly, here’s a quote from the story on “They said they don’t have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups,” said Melencia Hamilton, Anthony’s mother.

    Anthony Stokes was diagnosed four weeks ago and has been in the hospital ever since. He has no accumulated medical history: there’s no evidence that he will, but neither is there any evidence that he won’t. In the absence of relevant data, it appears that the people evaluating his eligibility for the list drew their conclusion from Anthony’s low grades & brushes with the law.

    Anthony is 15 years old. What’s the internet abbreviation for “you have got to be bleepin’ kidding me”?

    The question needs to be asked out loud: do we really believe that the evaluating doctors in Georgia would interpret the national criteria the same way to impose the same decision on a white teenager?