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Young heart patient sought in St. Louis area

A doctor says a 5-year-old heart patient is in danger after police say his father, who does not have custody of the boy, took him from a St. Louis hospital where he is on a transplant waiting list.

Porter Stone was discharged about 4 p.m. Tuesday from St. Louis Children's Hospital after several days of treatment, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/JxOMNQ). St. Louis police Capt. Jim Moran told the newspaper the boy's father, Jeffery Stone, 33, does not have legal custody of the boy and is wanted for "parental kidnapping."

A local missing child alert and an Amber Alert have been issued.

"There's currently an active search for the father and the child. The intent of the father is unclear," said Dr. F. Sessions Cole, the hospital's chief medical officer.

Porter was being treated for cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle.

Cole told KSDK-TV that Porter's condition is serious and that the boy had about a day's worth of medication left in a portable IV when he was taken and will need medical attention.

"His heart function, which is already compromised, will begin to deteriorate" without treatment, Cole told the station.

According to relatives, Jeffery Stone is estranged from the boy's mother, Tiffany Stone, who has legal custody of Porter.

Porter, who lives in St. Joseph in northwestern Missouri, is on hospital's waiting list for a heart transplant. Cole said the boy was discharged after several days in the hospital so he could be monitored by doctors closer to home in the Kansas City area.

Police said Jeffery Stone took Porter and then called Tiffany Stone — who was still at the hospital — and told her he was taking the child, according to police. The father and son were seen leaving the hospital in a silver, four-door Toyota Corolla with California license plates. Police told the Post-Dispatch that they believe Jeffery Stone's mother, Rhonda Matthews, was with them.

Porter is described as 46 inches tall and weighs 44 pounds. He was wearing a grey T-shirt, black and white checkered shorts and Spider-Man tennis shoes. He was carrying a backpack with medical equipment.

Jeffery Stone is 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 230 pounds and has a shaved head. He was wearing a grey shirt, black shorts and a San Francisco Giants baseball cap. He was carrying a Nike backpack.

Doctors in Kansas City and at medical centers across the country have been notified about Porter, Cole said. He expressed hope that Jeffery Stone would make sure Porter gets needed care and that the parents " get together and do the right thing."

Cole also said he had no insights into the case but that it's not uncommon for families of sick children who are under stress to make inexplicable choices.

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