A 15-year-old Georgia teen was denied a shot at a life-saving heart transplant because of his history with law enforcement and poor grades, according to his family.
MyFoxAtlanta.com reports that officials at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston have informed patient Anthony Stokes' family that he doesn’t qualify for its heart transplant list because he has a history of "non-compliance."
"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 WSBTV.com.
Hamilton told the station that her son, who suffers from an enlarged heart, has only six months to live and needs the transplant to survive.
While doctors at the hospital have not revealed the specific reason Anthony was kept off the list, family friends told WSBTV.com that his juvenile record and past performance in school played a role in the decision.
“They've given him a death sentence,” Christine Young Brown, president of the Newton-Rockdale chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference told the station.
Hamilton suspects the family's financial situation may also have played a role in the hospital's decision.
"I think that they don't think that we can pay for the medicine. We probably couldn't get to the doctor visits because of transportation. I don't have a car," Hamilton told MyFoxAtlanta.com.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 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."