When a life-changing surgery was put on hold for a 2-year-old boy, the community rallied across the country to save him.
A.J.’s mom, Carmellia Burgess, called a few of those good Samaritans who reached out to 11Alive after her family’s initial story aired about her son, who was born without kidneys.
His transplant surgery was put on hold when the hospital found out his father had a pending record, even though Anthony Dickerson was his son’s perfect match.
Burgess was overwhelmed with the unexpected outpouring of kindness.
“I didn’t think a stranger would be like oh let me just give him a kidney. That’s a big decision to give an organ,” she said.
She explained to one of the would-be donors, “They’re looking at like what dad did. What’s on dad’s background. They’re not looking at the bigger picture. Our son is not healthy. In order for him to live a healthy life he needs a kidney transplant.”
The woman on the other end of the line, agreed.
“It blows my mind that they would deny a child especially something, you know, a life-saving treatment.”
The offers to help her family, flooded 11Alive’s email--coming in from all over the country, including Virginia, Texas, Missouri and Ohio.
This may sound crazy but if I could get in touch with this family, and if I were a match for this boy would it be possible to donate my kidney to him? As a gift so to speak? I would want nothing in return. I randomly stumbled across this story and something told me to reach out. I am a perfectly healthy 25-year-old female and it seems so silly and awful that this child could die because of the situation. I have a 3-year-old daughter and I can't imagine if it were my baby. I know I might not be a match but IF I were, I would want to do this...
I’m only 18 but after reading the toddlers story I feel like no child should have to suffer from mistakes one of their parents have made. I would love to help and see if I’m a match.
I would like to know how I can help the child by donating one of my kidneys.
We recently came across your news article about 2-year-old, A.J., being denied a kidney transplant his father, Mr. Anthony Dickerson, is willing to donate to him and thought we may be of assistance to A.J. and his family. We have fought the good fight of justice for over 20 years and offer help and support to those who may not get heard otherwise. We are about community, what's right, and above all, justice for our clients. Our motto is "Not I But We!"
I am a 19-year-old college student in Missouri. I read your story on Carmella Burgess and her 2-year-old son and it weighed on my heart. I would like to get in contact with her to see if she would allow me to get tested to see if I am a match for a kidney transplant for her little boy.
I saw the report on the 2-year-old. We would be delighted to consider doing their surgery at the Texas Medical Center.
I live in Dayton, Ohio. I will be willing to donate a kidney to the 2-year-old boy if I am a match. I do not do any drugs, smoke any tobacco products, nor am I a felon/have a criminal record. The father and myself may be around the same age. If you and the family are willing or want to try to get the process going, you are more than welcome to contact me.
The family has started a GoFundMe page for his much-needed surgery to cover his medical expenses.
In case you'd like to help get the life-saving kidney transplant approved for the 2-year-old boy, click to sign here.