Life hasn't been fair to young A.J. Dickerson over the course of his short time here on this earth. He was born premature and was forced to spend his first ten months in intensive care after doctors discovered upon birth that one of his kidneys wasn't functioning. Two years have passed since A.J. was delivered to Carmella Burgess and Anthony Dickerson, and his body shows the signs of deterioration. Although the joyful boy weighs a mere 25 pounds, his legs are not strong enough to lift him up. Meanwhile, he is fed through an intravenous tube and depends on daily dialysis to keep him alive. But the tubing and medication will no longer suffice.
A.J. was recently determined to be in an emergency state when he had a stroke, and it was established that he would need a kidney transplant as soon as possible. It is a need that could be met immediately for all practical purposes because his father's organs are a 100 percent match for him. But Anthony Dickerson has had one too many encounters with the law, according to Emory Hospital, and so the family's request that he be able to donate a part of himself to save his son has been declined, for at least another three months.
By the standards of the law, Dickerson is certainly no angel. He's been in and out of jail for mostly misdemeanor theft charges, and on one occasion was locked up for fleeing from police. More recently the nature of his crimes has escalated, with him having gotten out of prison following a stint for weapons possession, only to be apprehended in violation of probation, for possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of attempted felonies. Carmella Burgess and the Dickerson family don't see what that would have to do with a father being allowed to undergo emergency surgery in order to fulfill a much-needed transplant for his sickly son, but apparently, the officials running Emory Hospital do.
Burgess says that Anthony has been informed that he'd be approved to undergo the procedure if he can stay on the straight and narrow until January 2018, at which point the request will be revisited, and his case reassessed.