On Monday, we reported to you the story of Anthony Stokes, a 15-year-old from Georgia who was denied a heart transplant for the vague reason of “non-compliance.”
Doctors from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta sent Stokes and his family a letter explaining their decision. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
“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. 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.”
Scores of people were outraged when they became aware of the hospital’s decision. The family’s contact, Mark Bell, said Stokes and his family received calls from people as far away as Panama asking how they could help.
It now looks like Stokes and his supporters will have their wish granted. Georgia news outlet KSDK reported today that Stokes has been placed on the heart transplant list.
Stokes has been given six months to live due to his enlarged heart. Doctors have told him that the only way he will live past the near future is by undergoing a heart transplant. When doctors denied Stokes the heart transplant he so desperately needs, his family referred to the decision as a “death sentence.”
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta released a statement on Stokes’ transplant today, in which they said that earlier reports on why Stokes was being denied the transplant were “misinformation.”
Here is the statement:
"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."