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Anthony “A.J.” Burgess

Before A.J.’s birth, doctors informed his family that his kidneys were not functioning and he would require a kidney transplant. They knew he would face challenges as soon as he was born, however, they were not expecting A.J. to join the world a month early. He was immediately placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where he spent seven months. During that time, he was placed on life support, and due to his kidney function, started dialysis and experienced issues with his heart and lungs. Once released from the hospital, A.J. continued dialysis at home for two and a half years. Doctors set a goal of A.J. weighing twenty-five pounds before he could be placed on the transplant waiting list and when that milestone was reached, his family rejoiced. Since receiving his kidney transplant, A.J. has reached other milestones. His mom, Carmellia, says “We have seen a major change in A.J. since his transplant. He was bedbound before his transplant, but now he is running and able to do normal toddler activities. We cannot thank his donor family enough for the opportunity for A.J. to have a childhood.”