NJ parents see hope after transplant denial outcry

In this undated photo provided by Joseph Rivera, 3-year-old Amelia Rivera is shown. (AP Photo/Rivera Family Photo)

In this undated photo provided by Joseph Rivera, 3-year-old Amelia Rivera is shown. (AP Photo/Rivera Family Photo)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 3-year-old girl whose parents claimed she was denied a kidney transplant at one of the nation's top children's hospitals because of her mental disability is now being considered for the procedure, her father said Tuesday.

Joseph Rivera said he and his wife, Chrissy, met with doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday and were told they are now willing to consider a transplant for their 3-year-old daughter, Amelia. The Stratford, N.J., family said doctors initially told them their daughter wasn't eligible for a transplant because of a mental disability.

"At this point, we're moving forward," Rivera said in an interview with The Associated Press. "They are allowing us at least to go through the process."

Rivera said his daughter will now have to go through screenings to see if she's a good transplant candidate. He and his wife will now be going in for tissue testing in March.

"We knew going in that it was a long process," Rivera said.

A CHOP spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the status of the case, which led to a public outcry after Chrissy Rivera wrote about it on her blog earlier this month.

The hospital previously has said it "does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities." It has also said it is "deeply committed" to providing the best possible medical care for all children, including those with disabilities.

Amelia Rivera, who goes by the nickname Mia, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic defect that can cause physical and mental disabilities. She will need a transplant in six months to a year.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 138401749