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Emory Healthcare Statement on Organ Transplantation

Media Contact

Holly Korschun

Nov. 23, 2017
In this season of giving thanks, all of Atlanta can be grateful that AJ was the successful recipient of a kidney transplant. The Emory transplant team performed the surgery using a kidney from a deceased donor. AJ will remain in the hospital as he recovers from the surgery. Over the past few weeks, many in our community have rallied to AJ’s cause. His parents were passionate and courageous advocates and they showed all of us the true meaning of unconditional love. We also want to remember the donor family.  It was through their compassion and sacrifice that this story of hope became possible.

Nov. 17, 2017
The Emory Healthcare community and transplant team remain motivated and engaged in helping A.J. secure a healthy future.  Collaboration with the family continues as we work through the transplant evaluation process. We will provide updates as new information becomes available. 

Nov. 6, 2017
3:30 p.m.
The Emory Healthcare transplant team met today with AJ’s parents as planned. The ongoing conversations are moving the process forward, and we will continue to work towards the shared goal of a successful transplant for A.J.

Nov. 2, 2017
9:30 p.m.
Emory Healthcare officials and physicians met on Nov. 2 with parents Carmellia Burgess, Anthony Dickerson, their attorneys and community supporters. The intent of the meeting was to open lines of communication among all parties involved and come together over how best to help AJ. We have had an open and honest discussion in focusing on our shared goal of ensuring the health and well-being of AJ and his father. In reviewing our communication with the family, Emory Healthcare wants to acknowledge and apologize for a breakdown in communication on our part. In addition, the Emory Healthcare team and the family agreed to meet again on Monday, Nov. 6, to continue the process. In our meeting, we were able to review the situation and agree that moving forward on behalf of AJ is everyone’s most important goal.

Nov. 2, 2017
2:30 p.m.
The health challenges of 2-year-old A.J. Burgess have captured the hearts of all of us in Atlanta, and many people around the country. This courageous and magnetic young boy has kidney failure, and he and his family have bravely battled his health challenges every day of his life. The entire Emory community is motivated and engaged to help him secure a healthy future. We greatly respect the father’s desire to become a donor, and we want to work with him to try and make this happen. The national guidelines for approving a potential organ donor are clear and stringent. When evaluating any potential donor, Emory’s medical team is required to consider the ability of the donor to manage the many complications and health challenges that come with a major surgical procedure. 

It is our desire to continue to work with A.J.’s parents to work through this process. With all that he has faced, A.J. deserves a chance for a full life. We will continue to work with his parents to find a successful path forward.

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