By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has apologized to the parents of a severely disabled South Jersey toddler who sought a kidney transplant for their daughter there. The hospital initially denied the child a transplant, but officials now say no decision has been made.

The story of Amelia Rivera, a three-year-old Stratford girl with Wolf-Hirschorn syndrome, was an internet sensation and brought down an avalanche of criticism on Children’s Hospital last month after her mother wrote an emotional blog post about a meeting with a CHOP transplant doctor.

Chrissy Rivera reported that the doctor denied Amelia a transplant and gave the reason as “mental retardation.”

In a statement, CHOP’s chief medical officer says he “can unequivocally state that we do not disqualify transplant patients on the basis of intellectual ability,” and he blamed poor communication for the incident.

The statement goes on to say “evaluation for transplant is a long and involved process,” and no decision on Amelia’s case has been made.

It also quotes Amelia’s parents as praising CHOP for “updating their process and materials” and expressing hope that “this experience will heighten the medical community’s sensitivity to the disabilities community.”

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