An Atlanta teen with an enlarged heart is not being placed on the transplant list because he has had behavior issues in the past. Anthony Stokes, 15, has only six months to live but, because he failed to take his medication in the past, doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have stuck him with a “noncompliance” tag.
Anthony's family says that his low grades at school and brushes with the law are the real reasons that Children's Healthcare will not put him on the heart transplant list.
“He's been given a death sentence because of a broad and vague excuse of noncompliance," said Christine Young Brown with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "There was nothing specific in that decision. Just noncompliance.”
Anthony and his family were informed of the decision via a letter on Aug. 7, The Daily Mail reported.
“The decision was made that Anthony is currently not a transplant candidate due to having a history of noncompliance, which is one of our center’s contraindications to listing for heart transplant,” the letter explained. “As we discussed today with Anthony’s mother, we will not place Anthony on the heart transplant waiting list at this time due to this decision.”
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta spokeswoman Patty Gregory released a statement about the matter, saying, "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 healthcare. We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for a transplant of any kind."
Anthony's supporters are not giving up.
"We must save Anthony's life," said Mack Major, the teen's mentor. "We don't have a lot of time to do it, but it's something that must be done."