The boy's father, Anthony Dickerson, was tested for suitability and shown to be a flawless match for his son, but at the time was in prison for violating his probation on weapons charges. He was arrested in September on probation violence and was later charged with possessing a firearm.
"Mr. Dickerson is now in custody for a parole violation".
Authorities at the hospital not only changed their tone but also asked him for proof that he was complying with his parole officer for the next three months before going ahead with the surgery. "If Mr. Dickerson could be escorted to Emory for blood work and a pre-operative appointment tomorrow, Sept.29, we will be able to continue with the scheduled surgery".
According to Dickerson, he later received a letter that said the life-saving surgery is to be put on hold until next year.
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 hospital at first said once Dickerson got out of jail, they would go ahead with the planned surgery.
"It's about my son", A.J.'s mother, Carmella Burgess, told the news outlet.
"We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation", the hospital representative said in the letter.
"He's been through a lot".
"Guidelines for organ transplantation are created to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize the risk for living donors", the hospital said.
When WTSP reached out to Emory to get clarification as to why the surgery was postponed, hospital officials said they couldn't get into specifics because it violated patient confidentiality.
"Dad making a mistake shouldn't affect what he wants to do with our son".
Dickerson doesn't want to see his son's chance at a normal life disappear because of the choices he made. The National Kidney Foundation said once a patient is on the waitlist, it takes three to five years on average to get a transplant, but children get priority.
"They're making this about dad", Burgess said. "He don't deserve this".
Sadly as WTSP noted, A.J. suffered a stroke two months ago, and needs constant care. 'It's like we've been waiting on this.
Emory officials refused to answer The AJC's questions about the decision or its policies, and Gwinnett law enforcement agencies have not responded to requests for comment.