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