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Controversial heart transplant recipient throws away second chance at life

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An Atlanta teen that struggled to obtain a heart transplant two years ago died Tuesday when he crashed a stolen vehicle while being chased by police.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in 2013, 15-year-old Anthony Stokes, of Decatur, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and was in desperate need of a heart transplant.

Doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Eggleston initially thought that because of his troubled past, that Stokes would not be compliant with subsequent treatment plans and doctor instructions.

Anthony Stokes shares an image of his heart transplant scar on his Facebook page.
Anthony Stokes shares an image of his heart transplant scar on his Facebook page.

Melencia Hamilton, the teenager’s mother, told the press that her son was a victim of stereotyping by the hospital. She thought that her son was being unfairly prejudiced because of his low grades and encounters with the law.

In 2013, Hamilton was quoted as saying, “they decided he’s a troublemaker, and that’s not true.” At the time, she stated that her son would most likely die within six to nine months if he was denied the treatment.

The story made international headlines, and, facing public outrage, the hospital reversed course and gave him priority status on the transplant waiting list. On August 21, 2013, Stokes received his new heart.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Stokes told an Atlanta TV station that the transplant would help them straighten up and stay out of trouble, saying he would “get a second chance and do things I want to do.”

DeKalb County Court records show that Stokes was arrested in January of this year and charged with “possessing tools of the commission of a crime and criminal attempt.” After posting a $5000 bond, he was released from jail, having served a few weeks while the money was raised.

Anthony stokes
A disturbing image of Anthony Stokes upload to his Facebook page.

On Tuesday afternoon, a masked person, believed to be Stokes, broke into a house of an 81-year-old woman in Roswell, GA. The man kicked in a garage door and fled after unexpectedly finding the occupant still at home.

Police responding to the burglary call spotted the car identified by the woman, and were told that it also matched a vehicle that was reported stolen in a carjacking. When police tried to pull the vehicle over, Stokes refused to stop the car.

During the subsequent car chase, he clipped another car at an intersection, jumped the curb, hit a pedestrian, and crashed into a pole. Rescue workers cut Stokes out of the car, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other car was uninjured, and the 33-year-old pedestrian is listed in good condition.

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1 COMMENT

  1. What a disgusting waste of a heart transplant. It boggles the mind that playing the race card can get one a precious organ donation. His mother should be deported as well for not getting married and providing this boy a father who might have kept him straight.

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