Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Wasted second chance........
"So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do," stated Anthony Stokes.
Anthony Stokes, 15, should have been looking forward to a lifetime of dreams fulfilled but instead he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in 2013 and given six months to live. The doctors at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta GA had decided not to put Stokes on the waiting list for transplants stating that his history of non compliance with medication regimens made him a poor candidate. This ignited a firestorm of protests and complaints from civil rights groups and his family.
They claimed that the doctors were holding his history of poor grades and brushes with the law as the real reason they would not put him on the list. The hospital had stated that they did not believe that Stokes would follow the strict medication plan and attend the follow up visits that were needed to make the transplant be a success. The hospital has the option to disqualify patients that they feel will not follow the strict regimen, could not afford the high cost of the drugs needed or if they feel there is no support system to assist the patient.
Stokes's mother, Melencia Hamilton stated that they were stereotyping her son, who was wearing a court ordered ankle monitor at the time. The national pressure caused the hospital to relent and change their mind in August 2013 and he was placed at the head of the list and ended up receiving a new heart.
On March 31, 2015, Stokes, 17 of Decatur GA, put on a mask and carjacked a Honda at the Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. He then kicked in the door of an elderly woman's home on Alpine Dr in Roswell. She was sitting there watching television when he burst in and attempted to rob her. She reported that she ran to the back bedroom to escape him and there is evidence of bullet holes within the home. Police were in the area of Alpine Dr responding to the robbery call when they spotted the Honda and noticed that it fit the description of the car that had left the robbery scene.
Stokes took off when he noticed the police after him and they chased him down Alpharetta Highway. His run from the law ended at the corner of Hembree Rd and Highway 9 when he clipped a car at the intersection, jumped the curb, hit a pedestrian and then crashed into a SunTrust bank sign. Clementina Hernandez, 33, was taken to North fulton Hospital and is listed in good condition. Stokes did not do as well. Rescue workers had to cut him out of the destroyed car and he died later at a nearby hospital.
Evidently the hospital had it correct the first time when they chose not to add him to the transplant list. He did get a couple of years to do the things he wanted to do which seem to include postings on social media of him with guns, wads of cash and smoking marijuana. He listed one of his likes as the video game "Grand Theft Auto" which it seems that he took seriously enough to try and make it a reality. Unfortunately......... someone else may not have had the second chance he did because he was first in line for that donated heart. Sadly, I am sure that people will try and describe Stokes as a young man who was "struggling" to change his life and deal with the issues of having a transplant. The pictures and actions don't support that.