A 2-year-old boy who could not receive a life-saving kidney transplant from his father, because the father had violated his probation, has now been rushed to hospital with an abnominal infection.
Anthony Dickerson jnr, from Georgia, US, made headlines last month after it was reported he could not receive a kidnety from his father, the only compatible donor, as the man had violated his probation in September.
"Today has not been a good day for baby AJ or the family. But they remain hopeful, strong in spirit even as his body weakens," the family's attorney told WBIR.
A petition requesting that the hospital allow the father to donate his kidney to his son now has more than 57,000 signatures.
We feel that the hospital is only focused on dad's behavior & not focusing on The More Important Part... which is our son getting his father's kidney so he can begin to live a healthy life. Dad making a mistake shouldn't affect his ability to help his son," the boy's mum, Carmellia Burgess, wrote on the page.
Anthony Dickerson, of Gwinnet County, Georgia, is a 100 per cent match for his son, AJ, who was born prematurely without functioning kidneys.
But Emory Hospital decided to delay his transplant surgery, scheduled for October 3, and is "reassessing" the planned transplant after it was learned that Dickerson was arrested in September for possessing a weapon, according to WXIA-TV.
The arrest took place on September 28, just before the scheduled transplant, according to CBS 46 TV.
Dickerson, 26, has had numerous run-ins with the law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He has been in and out of jail on numerous misdemeanour theft charges and a first-degree forgery charge since 2011, records show.
Dickerson was freed on a $2600 bond after he allegedly fled a police officer. He was also charged with possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of attempted felonies.
After his release, he was prepared to undergo surgery to donate a kidney to his son. But the hospital changed plans.
After Dickerson was released by police, the hospital told him that it first wanted to see evidence he was complying with the terms of his parole before going ahead with the transplant.
The transplant became more urgent a couple of months ago after AJ suffered a stroke.
The hospital told the couple it would not proceed with the transplant before Dickerson showed he was in compliance with the terms of his parole.
"The Living Donor Transplant Team at Emory has asked Mr Dickerson for evidence of compliance from his parole officer for the next three months," the hospital wrote in a letter to the couple.
"We will re-evaluate Mr Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of his completed documentation."
January might be too late to save AJ, according to his mother. The boy, who weighs just 11kgs, also needs bladder surgery.
- Additional reporting by the Daily Mail