A teenager who received a heart transplant just two years ago, after being denied at first because of his bad behavior, has died after a carjacking and a high-speed police chase.
Anthony Stokes, 17, died on Tuesday after he crashed a stolen car as he was fleeing the scene of an attempted burglary at an elderly woman’s home in Roswell, Georgia.
The teen’s death comes less than two years after he received a second chance at life following a heart transplant at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
1. Anthony Stokes, pictured, died on Tuesday afternoon as he fled police after allegedly breaking into a home in Georgia. He is pictured right in a mug shot from a January arrest.
2. When he was 15 (pictured), Stokes received a transplant. His story made headlines after the boy was initially refused a transplant because doctors said he would not be compliant with the treatment.
Stokes, from Decatur, suffered from a dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning that his heart could not pump enough blood. His condition can lead to irregular heartbeats, blood clots or heart failure.
The teen had been given just six to nine months to live, however the hospital nevertheless refused to put him on the waiting list for a new heart, because they considered him “non-compliant” with the treatment.
Patients can be disqualified from getting a new organ if a hospital doubts that they will comply with the medication regimen after the surgery.
At the time, the hospital said that the teenager had failed to take his medication in the past and his history of non-compliance disqualified him from the waiting list.
3. He crashed this stolen Honda into a pole as he fled from police in Roswell on Tuesday afternoon.
4. He hit a woman and crashed into a SunTrust Bank sign (pictured) and later died in hospital.
However, family and friends claimed that his low school grades and brushes with the law were the real reason he had been ruled out.
The teen’s mother, Melencia Hamilton, told reporters that her son, who wore a court-ordered monitoring device, had been stereotyped as a troubled teen.
Giving in to pressure from the media, the Stokes’ family and civil rights groups, the hospital eventually backpedaled, and the teenager received a new heart in August 2013. Spokesman Mark Bell said:
After reviewing the situation, they said Anthony would be placed on the list for a heart transplant and that he would be first in line, due to his weakened heart condition.
The Orlando Sentinel reported in 2013 that the average cost of a heart transplant is between $550,000 and $650,000.
In that year, 63 Georgia patients received a heart transplant, according to figures from the United Network for Organ Sharing. Just six of the recipients were between the ages of 11 and 17.
5. He is also believed to have carried out an attempted robbery at an elderly woman’s home before the deadly crash. During the robbery, the intruder fired at the woman, leaving this bullet hole in the wall.
The hospital which carried out the surgery, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, had long been quiet about the operation and its cost, citing patient privacy laws, and has declined to comment on Wednesday.
Pictures on Stokes’ Facebook page show him shirtless with a large scar from the surgery to his chest. Other photos show the teen pointing a gun at the camera or holding up wads of cash.
On January 10 of this year, Stokes was arrested and charged with possession of tools for the commission of a crime and criminal attempt, according to DeKalb County jail. He was released from jail on February 3 on $5,000 bond.
Finally, on Tuesday of this week, Stokes put on a mask and allegedly kicked in an elderly woman’s door in Roswell. The teen then shot at the woman after finding her watching television inside, CBS46 reports.
The woman fled to a bedroom in the back of the house and was unharmed, but bullet holes could be seen in her walls and a car was seen fleeing from the scene.
6. Stokes is pictured pointing a gun and holding cash in multiple photographs on his Facebook page.
Police officers responding to a call nearby saw a car that matched its description and went in pursuit.
Fleeing, Stokes hit a car at an intersection and flew towards the curb. He knocked down a 33-year-old woman before smashing into a SunTrust Bank sign, Officer Lisa Holland said.
The injured woman, Clementina Hernandez, is reportedly in good condition in hospital but Stokes died after he was cut from the car and taken to hospital.
The crash is still under investigation. The car had been reported missing from Dunwoody so Dunwoody Police are also involved in the investigation.
Channel 2 reports that, back in 2013, Stokes said that he was excited that the heart transplant would give him a second chance at life. He said:
So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do.
7. A heart transplant recipient dies in a police chase two years after he was nearly denied a transplant because of his criminal record.
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