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Hospital places Georgia teenager on heart transplant list after previously rejecting him

Posted: August 14, 2013 |   Comments

( Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has added young Anthony Stokes to their heart transplant list, despite previously saying that he was not a transplant candidate because of his "history of noncompliance."

Stokes, a teenager with an enlarged heart, was hospitalized four weeks ago before being told that he would be excluded from the transplant list.

The letter that doctors sent to Stokes and his family did not provide details about why he would be excluded, stating only that he had a history of noncompliance.

Dr. David Dean from Piedmont Healthcare said that "history of noncompliance" generally means that a patient has a history of drug or alcohol use or is unlikely to follow doctor's orders, leading to an unsuccessful transplant.

Melencia Hamilton, Stokes's mother, says that that description does not apply to her son. Although he has had trouble with the law, school, and getting into fights, his mother defends him, saying that this behavior is typical of many 15-year-olds and does not warrant a death sentence. "He's a young boy," she said on NBC's Today Show. "He's going to make mistakes, but I still think he deserves a second chance."

In a statement to local TV station, WXIA, the hospital said, "As we stated previously, a heart transplant evaluation is an ongoing process based on the patient and his or her family's ability to meet specific transplant criteria."

The hospital says that they are continuing to work with Stokes and his family to establish a care plan and decide on the next course of action.

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