Hospital agrees to put 15-year-old on transplant list

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Dying teen put at top of list for new heart

Anthony Stokes will get a chance at a new heart.

According to Stokes’ family, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston reversed course this afternoon and has agreed to add the 15-year-old to its donor list. The decision comes days after the hospital officials sent the family a letter saying Anthony would not be a good candidate for transplant because he had a “history of non-compliance.”

“We met with hospital officials about 30 minutes ago,” family spokesman Mark Bell said this afternoon. “After reviewing the situation, they said Anthony would be placed on the list for a heart transplant and that he would be first in line, due to his weakened heart condition.”

Bell said hospital officials did not offer a reason as to why they changed their minds.

In a statement issued shortly after the family’s announcement, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said: “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. … Our physician experts are continuing to work with this family to establish a care plan and determine the best next steps for the patient.”

Anthony suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, fails to pump enough blood. The condition is generally treated with medications or devices such as pacemakers before a transplant is considered. Stokes’ mother, Melencia Hamilton, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that without a new heart, her son was would likely die within six to nine months.