The family of a 2-year-old boy born without kidneys has a lot to be thankful for this holiday.
A.J. Burgess was born without a working kidney and had to undergo nightly dialysis to survive.
The resilient toddler from Georgia has had to battle pneumonia and go through surgeries and blood transfusions while waiting for a donated kidney.
The challenge was especially hard for his mother, Carmellia Burgess, who didn’t have a car to get her son to thrice-weekly hemodialysis appointments, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But A.J. and his mother had an early Christmas miracle on Tuesday. Carmellia shared on Facebook that entertainer Tyler Perry, who hails from Atlanta, donated a car to her family after learning of their plight. A source close to the matter confirmed that Perry bought the car for the family.
The lucky streak continued a few hours later when doctors called Carmellia to let her know that they had found a donor kidney that was a match for A.J.
A.J. went into surgery around 7:30 a.m. at Emory University Hospital. The surgery lasted about three hours, according to Atlanta station WAGA-TV.
The toddler’s new kidney comes weeks after his case received national attention when the hospital refused to let his father, Anthony Dickerson, donate his own kidney ― also a match ― because he had recently been to jail on a parole violation.
The family will spend Thanksgiving in the hospital as A.J. recovers. Doctors told the family the new kidney has already started producing urine, a key sign that it’s working, according to WAGA-TV.