Friday, March 10, 2006
Son still hoping for fugitive father's kidney
Imagine counting on your dad to come through for you. Sure, he hasn't been there for you most of your life, having been in prison for seven years on a bank robbery conviction. But now, he's promised to donate a kidney, raising your hope just a little.

That's how relatives of 16-year-old Destin Perkins describe the teenager's emotional predicament.

Last year, Destin's mother gave him one of her kidneys, but his body rejected it. His father, Byron Perkins, offered his, but is now on the run with his fugitive girlfriend, Lee Ann Howard.

So all Destin can do is wait.

If his father is captured or gives himself up and still agrees to donate his donate his kidney, Destin says he'll take it gladly.

If not, his doctors at Kosair Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, say they won't even consider a transplant for months. They would first look to other relatives. Mainly, they say, Destin needs a good dose of emotional strength to rebound.

"Right now, the family's gone through a lot of psychological strain," says Dr. Larry Shoemaker. "We"re trying to get Destin back to a regular dialysis program."

The fugitive father and his girlfriend are now on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List. There is a $25,000 reward for information leading to their capture.
Posted By Susan Candiotti, CNN Correspondent: 9:48 AM ET
  39 Comments
It's so unfortunate Destin has such an irresponsible, unloving and immature father. It shows even more that how easy it is to abuse intimacy to bring an unwanted child to this world. His not-yet-ready, criminal father should be caught and made by law to carry out his promise to give the kidney to save him.
Posted By Anonymous Willie,Short Hills, NJ : 10:11 AM ET
What a lousy father to not care about his own flesh and blood. To know your kid is suffering and you can help but don't sickens me. The father isn't worth anything.
Posted By Anonymous Joe P. Ottawa, Canada : 10:34 AM ET
Well, at least there we have the answer to some posters on earlier blogs who asked why the mom couldn't donate a kidney. She already has, and his immune system rejected it. So she's done all she can, god bless her.
Posted By Anonymous Sasha, Seattle, WA : 10:37 AM ET
This goes back to the blog from a few days back. Most people would look at this story with such disgust and rage towards this guy, but the real criminals here in my mind are the Kentucky correctional officers that allowed him to just leave freely on his own accord to do the right thing. There's a reason he was in jail in the first place. There's no excuse for this to have happened. As much as the story about his son is tragic, the circumstances of his release may be have a longer lasting affect long after we've forgotten about all of this.
Posted By Anonymous Jack, Norfolk, VA : 10:39 AM ET
This man is as disgusting as it gets.
Posted By Anonymous Illene, Miami, FL : 10:51 AM ET
This man is a piece of excrement. As the father I can't imagine using an excuse like this to get out of prison and then run. The primary objective of any parent should be to hope their child ahs a better life than they have had themselves.

As the father of a child who has had an organ transplant, I hope this raises awareness of the need for organ transplants.

I hope this man comes to his senses and makes the right choice before he is caught. Unfortunatley when he is caught, he can't be forced to donate one of his kidneys.
Posted By Anonymous Rodney, Vancouver, WA : 11:01 AM ET
I JUST WANT TO TELL THE YOUNG MAN,KEEP YOUR HEAD UP,SOMEONE MORE WORTHY OF GIVING YOU A KIDNEY IS OUT THERE AND WILL COME FORWARD,YOUR FATHER IS NO LONGER WORTHY OF THAT POSITION,MATTER FACT HE.S WORTHLESS,
YOU'RE WORTHY OF THE BEST YOUNG MAN!!!
Posted By Anonymous MADVILLE KY CHERI : 11:09 AM ET
In a perfect world, Byron Perkins will turn himself in, donate his kidney to his son, and be a better man for it . In the real world, he's still on the run, acting like the coward he is, while his son anxiously awaits, holding on to what little faith he has left. All I know, is that I am a firm believer in karma, what goes around comes around, and there will come a day when Byron Perkins will have to answer for his actions.
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Lehigh Acres, FL : 11:20 AM ET
I can't imagine what this family is going through. I've been following this story hoping that his dad will come to his senses and realize his son's life is at stake. My prayers are with them.
Posted By Anonymous Patty, Columbus OH : 11:20 AM ET
The song went: "Silly woman, you knew I was a snake before you took me in"....

Are we expecting to much from our criminals these days? I mean really.
Posted By Anonymous Reg, Kansas City., MO. : 11:23 AM ET
Nice Dad....using his sick kid as a way to escape prison. How low can you go.
Posted By Anonymous Betty Webster NY : 11:31 AM ET
Simply put.... Destin do not allow this act by your father to take away your hope, your strength, your faith, and your spirit. Stay strong, the rest of your life is waiting for you to pull through this. Find your inner strength, have faith that some how, something will happen. Do not lose your faith!! Empower yourself with the love of your family and the hope and spirit that is deep with in you. I pray for you and keep you in my thoughts.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Tampa, FL : 11:31 AM ET
i think this is so disgusting, i can not believe this man can even call himself a father. how can anyone do this to a sick child. i hope when they do catch him that the judge throws in a very harsh punishment. my heart goes out to this family and i hope that he gets a kidney here soon. it is people like this father is why we have prisons. here his son who very is sick while this man in prison gets 3 meals a day a roof over his head and better medical care that most people get who are not in prison. why does this happen and being allowed is beyond me
Posted By Anonymous Joslyn Federal way washington : 11:46 AM ET
I don't think I've ever been more appalled by the behavior of two people as I have with Mr. Perkins and Ms. Howard. If they are ever found and the transplant is done, Mr. Perkins deserves to have his kidney taken from him while he's still awake and his girlfriend should be forced to make the first incision.
Posted By Anonymous AM, Piscataway, NJ : 11:52 AM ET
How could a father sleep at night or even be able to breath proprely knowing his child so desperately needs his help?
Posted By Anonymous Manon, Longueuil, Quebec : 11:55 AM ET
What real man would do this to his own flesh and blood,his own son. He will have to answer to a higher power some day for his actions. Hopefully,he will do the right thing soon and give himself up and donate a kidney to his son.
Posted By Anonymous Trent,Greensboro,N.C. : 11:56 AM ET
That father should be utterly ashamed of himself. I can't believe that a father would use their son's illness to get out of prison and then run. I hope that when he goes in front of the judge for his sentencing on the escape charge that the judge does the right thing a gives him the maximum sentance allowed by law. And then sends him to the worst part of the worst prison. If I knew where he was, I'd turn him in for free. What a coward.
Posted By Anonymous David M. Houston TX : 11:56 AM ET
This is maddening insanity. How could a "father" do this to a child? My heart and prayers go out to Destin. Hopefully he'll find a donor that can help begin to heal the wounds this horrible man brought on.
Posted By Anonymous Kristy, Waco, TX : 12:05 PM ET
I cannot believe that Destin's father would raise his son's hopes only to then let them crash down. The saying, "Anyone can be a father; it takes someone special to be a dad" certainly applies. I hope Destin has the emotional support he needs right now - and I hope justice prevails.
Posted By Anonymous K Johnson, Winchester VA : 12:11 PM ET
If this child dies due to his fathers sensless act. I feel he should also be charged with some kind of mansluaghter for devestating mental and physical stress that this is causing this poor child.
Posted By Anonymous Kristie London, Ontario : 12:43 PM ET
Susan, I won't comment on the utter shamelessness of this supposed father (oops, I already did!), but I would like to know if there's a way to contact Destin's doctors/family to let them know if someone might be able to donate a kidney to this young man? Thanks for reporting on this.
Posted By Anonymous Leslie Broughton, North Beach, Maryland : 1:06 PM ET
Destin's father is a sick and sad excuse for a human being. What kind of person does something so disgraceful? To lie to your child about a TRANSPLANT, that is insane. I can't even fathom what this family is going through. I will keep Destin in my prayers until he get's well. Destin forget about that sad excuse of a father, you are better than that.
Posted By Anonymous Kiran, Minneapolis MN : 1:13 PM ET
Ok, lets put some effort into finding this fellow and extriditing him back to the US, back to Jail. Then he can be taken to the OR in shackles, have his kidney harvested and then back to a jail hospital to recoup. Then he can serve out his time. Lets hope that the only contact he has with his family is the kidney donation, because he is certainly not worthy of their timeor effort.
Posted By Anonymous Tad, Visalia, Ca : 1:18 PM ET
We have gotten this story aired on Mexican TV, still working on getting it out to more stations and newspapers.

If we still lived in the US, our 16 year old daughter said she would want to be tested to see if she could donate one of her kidneys. I hope many more Americans feel the same.

If this guy is caught and he decides to go ahead and donate his kidney, great, but I hope that this story has touched someone else who may be a match.
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth Wright, Merida Yucatan Mexico : 1:18 PM ET
If they ever catch this lowlife, they should take his kidney alright, but without anesthesia. It boggles the mind how a man can do this to his own son.
Posted By Anonymous Eric in Boston, MA : 1:26 PM ET
I donated a kidney to my spouse nearly a year ago. You know, donating, and being the recipient of an organ, is a delicate issue - not only medically, but psychologically. It is actually easier on the donor in many ways than it is on the recipient with respect to the humility it requires to accept that kind of gift from someone, especially from someone you love. The rejection this boy will feel, I truly believe, will affect his ability to psychologically accept the donation. It's a very disturbing and sad story on more than just one level.
Posted By Anonymous S. McNally, North Brunswick, NJ : 1:33 PM ET
Whatever crimes Byron Perkins is quilty of, none can compare to the crime he's committed against his son.

Byron Perkins has done more than taking away the kidney his son so desperately needs to survive. He's taken away Destin's hope, a crime for which he can never make amends.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 1:39 PM ET
I feel sorry for Destin. Just can't believe the heartless father run away with his girlfriend instead of helping his dying son soon to be if he can't get any other donor. Where is his brain and how about responsibilities. The child is so pitiful and very inocent. Above all being a parent we should know our priorities.. Destin didn't ask to be born...so where ever you are father come home and be with your son..who knows someday he may be helping you in some ways..
Posted By Anonymous NitaC, Salado, TX : 1:51 PM ET
Like this guy was really going to turn his back on a chance at freedom to save a son he hasnt been a father to in over 7 years? Always amazes me that we need a license to drive or hunt, to even fish but human can procreate to their hearts desire! And we wonder why this country is declining in accountability?
Posted By Anonymous Larissa, Cht, NC : 1:52 PM ET
As the mother of three boys, I can't even wrap my brain around this. I would cut my kidney out myself for my children. This is about as low as someone can get. But then I shudder to think about what could be lower. God bless you Destin! And to that man on the run, Go straight to hell.
Posted By Anonymous Kerri Quebodeaux, Orange, Texas : 2:00 PM ET
It's outrageous to me that they make you get a license to drive a car, catch a fish or even own a dog, but they'll let any idiot on the planet be a father. That man should be castrated when they catch him, so he never has the opportunity to do this to anyone else.
Posted By Anonymous Carla, Crescent City California : 2:01 PM ET
I think "Dad" needs to grow a set and help out his son. Be a man, be a father. Come home and face the music you coward!
Posted By Anonymous Tyrone, Atlanta, GA : 2:13 PM ET
That is lower than low. It makes me so angry to hear something like that. I almost (almost) hope something will happen to this guy and then Destin will have 2 of this creep's kidneys to choose from.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy, Grand Rapids, MI : 2:20 PM ET
In one of the earlier comments someone wondered how that creep of a father can live with himself. Which is what I've been trying to understand. I don't see how someone we all assume is human can live with the fact that he's murdering his own son. Of all the low down things a person can do, denying your son life just to get out of prison has to be THE loswest.

And the agony the poor mother is going through! I can't imagine how she's managing to stand upright and still be able to speak in complete sentences! The woman has an inner strength I admire. I just hope she can hold onto that strength while that sorry, no good excuse for a man who is the father of her son gets further and further away.

The man is not only spineless and shameless, he is also heartless and cruel.

I hope he rots in the deepest pits of. . . well, you get the idea.
Posted By Anonymous Marisol, Aurora, Colorado : 2:22 PM ET
When police find this guy (and they will) they should do all of society a favor by harvesting every organ he has and giving them to folks more deserving to breath air than this jerk.
Posted By Anonymous Nita, Birmingham, AL : 2:24 PM ET
I agree with all the other commentors who said that "Low-Life of the Year" Byron should have his kidney taken from him...WILLINGLY OR NOT. Yes, and perhaps without anesthesia to boot! hahaha! But in today's "over-politicized" society we live in, Byron might actually have some sort of legal right to refuse donation of his kidney to his son, even though he essentially "promosed" to do so. That's about how sicko and psycho our modern American world/society is today: we all "get it" and "know" what the just thing to do is, but our overly-complex, liberal, "right of the individual above all else" legal system sometimes (actually OFTENtimes) fails to serve justice. It's stories like these that wear many of us out. Bless poor Destin's young heart--he certainly does not deserve the ordeal he's going through. May the love (and kidney) he so deserves find him! May Byron burn in hell! Finally--Byron should be castrated/de-masculinated when they do capture him. (After, of course, forcefully removing his kidney! And NO TRAILER VISITS for scum like him who are in jail!!)
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Sacramento, California : 2:26 PM ET
There isn't anyone hurting more the that beautiful child that needs a transplant and for a father to be that cruel is very sad. Hopefully when he is caught he won't get a second chance. They need to just take his kidney regardless if the father agrees or not. That is his son and thats the least his father can do for him!!! And as for the fathers girlfriend what kind of person is she apparently no good. They always say trash runs together and hopefully they'll be caught together... Destin my prayers are with you!!! leave it to god he will take care of it!!!
Posted By Anonymous Staciey, Branford, FL : 2:53 PM ET
If this "Dad" should ever want to donate his heart, tell him to keep it. Does he have a heart?
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Brookfield, CT : 2:55 PM ET
Sad story.
Posted By Anonymous Cindy Taylor, Twin Falls ID : 2:59 PM ET
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