The mother of a 2-year-old boy in desperate need of a kidney earlier this year says her Christmas present came early. Baby AJ got his kidney!

Carmella Burgess said the journey of her child, known as Baby AJ, has been incredible. From the moment when A.J.’s father – a perfect match – was told by Emory Healthcare that he couldn’t give a kidney to his son because of a probation violation to protests and the story going viral.

The overwhelming support gave the family a support system they didn’t expect.

“At times I felt like I needed to give up,” she said. “But looking at him, he never gave up. He just made me strive with him. It was amazing.”

ORIGINAL STORY | 2-year-old denied kidney transplant from dad because of probation violation

Burgess said her baby is on a road to gaining his independence since Emory Healthcare called saying the 2-year-old could get a kidney from a deceased donor.

“I really didn’t believe it,” Burgess said. “The whole house started screaming that AJ got a kidney. I didn’t pack no bags. I just got him and ran to the hospital.”

The surgery was a success.

The family says the days of worrying about whether Baby AJ would get a kidney or not are behind them. Now they’re focused on making memories and living life to the fullest.

Burgess said they’re looking forward to celebrating his 3rd birthday in style next month. He’s been making progress, even though he has bladder problems from time to time.

“Actually, I think he’s kinda ready for potty training,” Burgess said. “Because he said, ‘Oh I pee pee.’ I’m like well, OK. You can’t walk to the pot, so how we gonna do this?”

The mom says they’re thankful for all the support they’ve had. Without, she said she doesn’t know if AJ could have gotten his early Christmas present.

On January 3 -- A.J.'s third birthday -- his family is hosting a meet and greet. Supports will be able to meet the little boy who has inspired so many in person.

A GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family as AJ continues to undergo physical therapy and occupational therapy. Click here for information on how to donate.


There are two types of organ donors, those who are living and those who are dead. For more information on signing up to be a donor, click here.

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