Trou­bled Ga. teen who re­ceived con­tro­ver­sial heart trans­plant dead af­ter crime spree ends in fa­tal wreck: cops

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL - By Sasha Gold­stein New York Daily News

He promised to change his mis­guided ways if he got a new heart, but ev­i­dently trou­bled An­thony Stokes was un­able to make good on those vows.

The Ge­or­gia teen died Tues­day af­ter a botched home in­va­sion, crash­ing a stolen car and end­ing the trou­bled life that was ex­tended back in 2013, when he got a con­tro­ver­sial heart trans­plant.

Stokes, 17, wrecked the car­jacked sedan into a pole as he tried to flee po­lice, au­thor­i­ties said, and the el­derly Roswell woman he shot dur­ing a botched rob­bery was in sta­ble con­di­tion in a hos­pi­tal.

The young man failed to make good on the prom­ise he made to turn his life around in 2013, when he was de­nied a needed heart trans­plant be­cause of be­hav­ioral is­sues and dis­obey­ing doc­tor’s or­ders. At the time, Stokes was given six to nine months to live and the ban­ish­ment by doc­tors at Chil­dren’s Health­care of At­lanta was es­sen­tially a “death sen­tence,” said ac­tivists who came to his de­fense.

The story sparked na­tional out­rage and the hos­pi­tal even­tu­ally re­lented, com­plet­ing the surgery that Au­gust, just seven days af­ter he was put on the trans­plant list. A to­tal of 63 Ge­or­gia pa­tients re­ceived a heart trans­plant in 2013, ac­cord­ing to the United Net­work for Or­gan Shar­ing, in­clud­ing six who were be­tween the ages of 11 and 17.

The fam­ily said at the time that they did not know the donor’s iden­tity.

“He’s a young boy. He’s go­ing to make mis­takes, but I still think he de­serves a sec­ond chance,” said his mom Me­len­cia Hamil­ton.

That chance ended this week just off the in­ter­sec­tion of Al­pharetta High­way and Hem­bree Road in Roswell, Ga., some 25 miles north of At­lanta, of­fi­cials said.

Stokes, of De­catur, al­legedly car­jacked a Honda, then burst into a Roswell home and shot at an el­derly woman as he tried to rob her, WSB-TV re­ported.

“A lady said a per­son kicked in the door to break into the house. She was in­side the living room and saw the sus­pect, who was wear­ing a mask,” Lisa Hol­land, of the Roswell Po­lice Depart­ment, told the news sta­tion.

Stokes then took off at a high speed as cops chased him down the high­way. He smashed into a 33-year-old pedes­trian be­fore los­ing con­trol and plow­ing into a pole.

“He did a fish­tail spin go­ing around to the right and hit a pedes­trian. I saw a white shirt fly up in the air,” wit­ness Clau­dia Kuklis told WSB. WSB-TV

Med­i­cal per­son­nel rushed to help Stokes, who died later Tues­day at a lo­cal hos­pi­tal. Cle­mentina Her­nan­dez was hos­pi­tal­ized in sta­ble con­di­tion, but Stokes, who was cut from the man­gled wreck­age, died later Tues­day at the hos­pi­tal, po­lice said.

The teen was wear­ing a court-or­dered an­kle mon­i­tor­ing bracelet for past fight­ing when he learned he had di­lated car­diomy­opa­thy, an en­larged heart that is too weak to pump enough blood.

The fam­ily and his sup­port­ers said Stokes was be­ing pun­ished “be­cause he was poor, black and had trou­ble with the law, which his mother said was for fight­ing,” the At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported.

An­thony Stokes posted pho­tos on his Face­book page of him with a gun and wads of cash in the months since he re­ceived a con­tro­ver­sial heart trans­plant. This photo was posted just two weeks be­fore he died in a car wreck af­ter a crime

spree.

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