Teen Who Received Controversial Heart Transplant Dead After Carjacking, Chase

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ATLANTA — The story of Anthony Stokes was supposed to have a happy ending. Instead it ended Tuesday, police say, with the teen heart transplant recipient carjacking someone, burglarizing a home, shooting at an elderly woman, leading police on a high speed chase and then dying after his car hit a pole.
In 2013, the teen’s family told media that an Atlanta hospital rejected him for heart transplant surgery due to what the hospital described in a letter as Stokes’ “history of non-compliance.”

At the time, Mark Bell was acting as a Stokes family spokesman.

In this story

  • In 2013, Anthony Stokes' family said a hospital refused him a heart due to his "history of noncompliance"
  • Hospital eventually gave Stokes a heart; on Tuesday he carjacked someone, burglarized a home, police said
  • Stokes shot at an elderly woman, hit a pedestrian with a stolen car and died in a police chase, authorities said

Bell told CNN that a doctor told the family that Anthony’s low grades and time in juvenile detention factored into the hospital’s decision to deny him a heart.

“The doctor made the decision that he wasn’t a good candidate because of that,” Bell said then. “I guess he didn’t think Anthony was going to be a productive citizen.”

About a week after Stokes’ story made headlines, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta gave him a heart.

On Tuesday, Stokes carjacked someone at a mall, kicked in the door of a home in Roswell, Georgia, and fired a shot at an elderly woman, who called 911, said Roswell police spokeswoman Lisa Holland.

Stokes drove away in a black SUV, she said. Police spotted the car and ran its plates which showed it had been stolen.

Police chased the vehicle.

Stokes lost control of the car, hit a pedestrian and then a pole, Holland said. The vehicle was nearly halved, she said.

The pedestrian is stable and in good condition, according to CNN affiliate WSB.

Stokes died at a hospital, Holland said.

In 2013, Stokes’ family provided media with a letter they said was from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“Anthony is currently not a transplant candidate due to having a history of noncompliance, which is one of our center’s contraindications to listing for heart transplant,” it read.

Assessing compliance for potential transplant recipients is important because if a patient doesn’t strictly take all required medicines as directed, he or she could die within weeks of leaving the hospital, said Dr. Ryan Davies, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, told CNN.

Davies was not involved with this case.

When Stokes’ family was trying to get him a heart, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference advocated for the teen.

SCLC’s the Rev. Samuel Mosteller told CNN that he was disappointed. “We got this young man a second chance in life,” he said.

SCLC referred the teenager to a mentor program in the Atlanta area, but Mosteller said that he wasn’t sure if the teenager participated. “What happened between the time in 2013 to now, I don’t really know,” he said. “How much Anthony recognized the gravity of things and did what he needed to do to make himself a viable citizen, I don’t know. But we tried.”


  • dsmlvmp

    Hadn’t seen the guy since the free publicity ended but yet “we tried” by the SCLC. The only one responsible is the one committing the acts but to have not had contact with the teen for 2 years and also, the time of last contact and the time of the media moving to the next story are rather close is saddening.

  • Brett

    The poster child for Obama’s America?

    The really sad part is, someone else was denied the heart and died for this punk.

    • Karl

      No, the really sad part is Obama had nothing to do with Stokes receiving the heart. The biggest cry came mostly from good ol Southern Christian Conservatives, such as those mentioned in the article above….

  • joe

    So glad he used a organ donors generosity for such a long time. I’m sure this is what the donor had in mind…. smh

  • Holla

    This is why I’m a firm believer a welfare, section 8 housing, disability for these people. They really appreciate the hard work and sacrifice we working people do for them. The never act as if this is an entitlement and become a great part of society.

  • tom sullivan

    cops fault… society’s fault….prob the organ donors fault… he was probably texting on his Obama phone… could have been Obama’s son …just like Travon

  • Potato Head

    Watch closely….Al Sharpton will determine the transplanted heart originated from a caucasian guy, and thus, this incident was due to the inherent racism in the white guy’s heart, and so, the black punk is faultless, and his survivors now have grounds to sue.

  • Fiddlesticks

    Given a second chance at life? Looks like he made the best of being a totally worthless P.O.S.

  • Sean

    I wonder if any of his organs were viable for transplant after he died. Probably not, because drugs, though.

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