Teen kept off heart transplant healing after surgery

Teen kept off heart transplant healing after surgery

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Anthony Stokes before the transplant Anthony Stokes before the transplant
ATLANTA -

Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes is getting a second chance at life Wednesday. After being kept off of the list for a life-saving heart transplant, Stokes is now recovering after undergoing the five-hour surgery.

The teen is healing in the ICU at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, FOX 5 Atlanta has learned.

Earlier in August, in a letter to Stokes' family, officials at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston said they wouldn't put Stokes on the transplant wait list because they said he had a history of non-compliance.

"He didn't have any medical history. He wouldn't, you know, make his doctor's appointments," his mother, Melencia Hamilton, said.

She said she son had only been to clinics for check-ups and immunization shots because, until then, he'd never been sick. She believes money 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 said.

Hamilton also said she believed her son's juvenile record played a role in the hospital's decision. She said he was under a court-ordered house arrest.

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