Teen being kept off heart transplant list, family says

The family of a 15-year-old Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston heart patient says that doctors have informed them that the DeKalb County teen, who is in need of a new heart, will not be placed on a transplant waiting list because of his past behavior.

The family of Anthony Stokes on Sunday released to the media an Aug. 7 letter that states, in part, “the decision was made that Anthony is currently not a transplant candidate due to having a history of non-compliance, 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,” the letter continues.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta released a statement to Channel 2 Action News on Sunday that read, “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 health care. We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for a transplant of any kind.”

Family members told Channel 2 that doctors are afraid that Anthony, who has been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, wouldn’t follow the strict regimen of medications and follow-up treatments necessary for a transplant to be successful.

“They just don’t want to give him a chance,” Anthony’s mother, Melencia Hamilton, told Channel 2.