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New Jersey Parents See Hope After Transplant Denial Outcry

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

CBS New York (con't)

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STRATFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The parents of a mentally disabled New Jersey girl say they’ve won a review of a children’s hospital’s decision to deny the girl a kidney transplant because of her mental disability.

Chrissy and Joseph Rivera says doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are now willing to consider a transplant for their 3-year-old daughter, Amelia.

The Riveras tell The Philadelphia Inquirer they received instructions for testing family members for compatibility at a meeting Friday.

The Stratford, N.J. family says doctors initially told them Amelia wasn’t eligible for a transplant because of a mental disability caused by Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome.

“We were told many times throughout the meeting that she can not have the transplant because she’s considered mentally retarded,” her mother, Chrissy Rivera told CBS 2 earlier this month.

The family said they were also told medications after a transplant would be a problem for Amelia who takes drugs to control seizures.

“I said, ‘So you’re saying in six months to a year when her kidneys fail you want us to let her die?’ And he said yes.” Rivera said.

She blogged about her experience and it quickly went viral, spawning a public outcry.

A CHOP spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the status of the case.

The hospital previously has said it “does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities.” It has also said it is “deeply committed” to providing the best possible medical care for all children, including those with disabilities.

Chrissy Rivera says her daughter’s case still needs to be reviewed to determine if she’s a good transplant candidate.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)