ATLANTA - A 2-year-old Atlanta boy, who has been at the center of a medical controversy, is recovering after undergoing surgery Wednesday morning for a lifesaving kidney transplant.
A.J. Burgess was born without kidneys and has been undergoing nightly dialysis to survive. His transplant surgery began at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Emory University Hospital, and lasted about three hours.
The child's surgery was originally delayed because of issues related to his father, Anthony D. Dickerson, being the donor, and concerns over him complying with necessary protocols.
Dickerson, 26, was approved to donate a kidney to his son, but had to provide "evidence of compliance from his parole officer for the next three months." The State Board of Pardons and Paroles website shows Dickerson has been on parole since December 2016 for fleeing or eluding police.
According to the family's attorney, Muwali Davis, a recently deceased donor's kidney was used to save A.J.'s life. "Today a family and community's prayers have been answered. Baby A.J. had a successful kidney transplant. He is currently in recovery. His parents and family are overwhelmed with gratitude."
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Davis said the surgery was successful, and A.J.'s family is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in the hospital as he recovers.
"Prayers have been answered," Davis said.
Doctors also told the family the kidney A.J. received has begun producing urine, which is a sign that it's working. Davis was there when doctors told A.J.'s family the surgery was a success. "It was an emotional moment. To see something we had all hoped and prayed for so long, to see it actually come to fruition, it was really an overwhelming moment."