ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta area teenager who said a heart transplant two years ago gave him a second chance at life died this week when he lost control of the car he was driving while fleeing police, according to police records.
Anthony Tremayne Stokes, 17, died Tuesday when the car he was driving hit a bank sign, a Roswell police officer wrote in an incident report. The officer noticed the black Honda Accord fit the description of a vehicle involved in a home invasion a short time earlier, the report says. The officer tried to pull the car over, but the driver refused to stop, the report said.
The car had also been reported stolen in a carjacking in nearby Dunwoody earlier Tuesday, the report says.
In August 2013, local news media quoted Stokes’ family as saying that doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston refused to put Stokes on a transplant waiting list because of his troubled past and their belief he wouldn’t comply with the strict plan for medication and follow-up treatment.
Stokes, who was 15 at the time, needed a new heart because he suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy. The news media reports at the time quoted the mother as saying that her son would likely die within six to nine months without a new heart.
The hospital said in statements at the time that transplant evaluations are an ongoing process and that doctors were working with the family on a care plan. But it quickly reversed course and agreed to put Stokes on the list. He received a heart transplant on Aug. 21, 2013.
Just over a month later, Stokes told a reporter with WSB-TV in Atlanta that the transplant would help him stay out of trouble.
“So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do,” Stokes told the television reporter.
Roswell police said they believe Stokes is the person wearing a mask who forced open the carport door of a home Tuesday afternoon and left once he realized an 81-year-old woman who lived there was home. Police believe he was fleeing that house when the chase began.
Stokes had also been arrested in January and charged with possession of tools for the commission of a crime and criminal attempt, according to DeKalb County court records. He was released from jail a few weeks later after posting $5,000 bond.