( 4UMF NEWS ) Troubled Recipient Of Donated Heart Dies After Crime Spree:
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.
“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.
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 crimes 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.
“So I can live a second chance,” Stokes told WSB as he fought to get on the transplant list nearly two years ago. “Get a second chance and do things I want to do.”
Photos from his Facebook page show selfies in which Stokes points a gun and clutches wads of cash. Several pictures feature Stokes smoking marijuana. Among his “likes” is the video game “Grand Theft Auto 5.”
The hospital embroiled in the heart transplant controversy, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, declined to comment Wednesday.
“We cannot provide any additional information about this tragic situation,” a spokeswoman told the Daily News in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this loss.”
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