A Georgia hospital reversed its controversial decision to keep a 15-year-old boy with a criminal record off a heart transplant waiting list.
The family said late Tuesday that Anthony Stokes will be added to the transplant waiting list, days after receiving a letter denying him a spot.
The letter touched off a storm of controversy, with the family accusing the hospital of unfair treatment.
"I took my baby to the hospital and they said he has an enlarged heart," said Stokes' mother, Melencia Hamilton.
Given just six months to live, his mother was shocked to receive the letter from Children's Healthcare saying Anthony was being denied a spot on the transplant list for "non-compliance."
"He don't understand that it worries me because I can't tell him why. I can't tell him why," Hamilton said.
Non-compliance is a broad term, but one doctor said it could refer to a patient's previous medical behavior.
"What places you on a lower part of the transplant list is evidence that you haven't followed through in taking your medications in the past," said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of NYU Women's Heart Program.
However, with no history of illness or previous medications prescribed, Hamilton believes her son was being punished for having a criminal record.
The teen was under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor when his heart condition was discovered in the hospital's ER.
"He's a young boy. He's going to make mistakes, but I still think he deserves a second chance," said Hamilton.
Last year nationwide, 319 people on the transplant list died while waiting on new hearts.
Local 2 checked locally with Lifegift, which manages transplants in Texas. They said there are national guidelines for the allocation of organs, which it follows.