He's been fighting since the day he was born, but things have finally gotten easier for AJ Burgess.
The toddler and his family made national headlines last month when the sick 2-year-old was denied an organ transplant from his father, even though the pair were a perfect match. AJ, who was born prematurely with no kidneys, spent the first 10 months of his life in an intensive care unit.
As he grew older, AJ relied on a dialysis machine to stay healthy, but it was clear to his parents that time was running out. "AJ's spirit is strong but his body is not,” his mother Carmellia wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for the young boy's medical costs. But last month, an unexpected delay put the toddler's life in danger.
AJ was scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from his father, Anthony Dickerson, more than a month ago. But the Emory University Hospital delayed the procedure after Dickerson was arrested for a parole violation.
Despite being released the day of the surgery, Dickerson was told he would have to wait 90 days, to prove he was following his parole obligations, before the hospital would approve the transplant. AJ's parents worried that by that time it would be too late.
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