Family: Teen placed on heart transplant waiting list

Family: Teen placed on heart transplant waiting list

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ATLANTA -

A 15-year-old who needs a life-saving heart transplant is now on the waiting list.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta had originally decided that Anthony Stokes, who suffers from an enlarged heart, was not a transplant candidate because of a "history of non-compliance", according to the family. Stokes' mother, Melencia Hamilton, insists that was never an issue. She said that Stokes had taken all the medicine administered to him.

The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Rev. Samuel Mosteller, said that he and others met with the transplant committee. He said that the committee expressed concerns about Anthony's truancy from school and a previous stay at juvenile hall.

"They made a qualitative decision and we believe that there was some pre-judgment in there that caused them to do some things they shouldn't have done, we thought," said Mosteller.

The SCLC said that the hospital reversed course after Anthony's case hit the news and social media. Stokes' mother says the decision to place Anthony on the recipient list came from the very doctor who had originally denied the teen. Hamilton said that Stokes has now been placed on the 1-A list.

"His heart is critical where he'll be put on top of the list when a heart becomes available. If one is available now, he'll get it," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said there is no question that Anthony will comply with doctors' orders after being given a second chance to live.

"Oh my goodness he will -- it's life and death right now, and he understands," said Hamilton.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta issued a statement saying, "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. While there has been misinformation circulating, Children's cannot discuss the specifics of this case or any other case due to privacy rules. Our physician experts are continuing to work with this family to establish a care plan and determine the best next steps for the patient. At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, patient care is always our top priority."

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