In a Channel 2 Action News exclusive, the DeKalb County teenager at the center of that controversy about a heart transplant talked with us about his second chance at life.
We first told you this summer, Anthony Stokes was at first denied the transplant when hospital officials learned he had a troubled past. Stokes spent time with Channel 2's Jovita Moore and he told her he's grateful to have another chance.
Moore we requested the interview to find out how bad could this boy be that he would be denied a heart. His mother said it was only recently that Stokes learned the details of the controversy surrounding his new heart.
He had a small bandage on his neck, the only visible sign of the life-saving heart transplant Stokes underwent nearly two months ago.
Stokes' case gained national attention, after Children's Healthcare of Atlanta rejected the 15-year-old as a transplant candidate because they learned he had a juvenile record.
Stokes told Moore he had gotten into trouble after some fights at school. He said he forgives the hospital for judging him.
"Because God, he like, said forgive," Stokes said.
Stokes said deserves a second chance because he has the rest of his life to live.
"So I can live. A second chance. Get a second chance and do, do things I want to do," Stoke said.
Stokes said he plans to finish high school, attend college and start his own computer business. He said he's going to stay out of trouble.
Helping Stokes stay on track is Mack Major, who runs a mentoring organization and has known Stokes for several years.
"He loves to play chess. He does things I can't even do, I just try to encourage him to keep doing things like that," Major said.
Stokes said he's thankful to the family whose loved one's heart is now beating strongly in his chest.
"I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to live," he said.
In a few days, Stokes is expected to be released from the hospital. So far, he's not showing any signs of rejecting his new heart.
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