Hospital considers kidney transplant for previously denied disabled girl

amelia rivera, kidney transplant
In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, Chrissy and Joseph Rivera pose with their 3-year-old mentally disabled daughter, Amelia Rivera, at their home in Stratford, N.J.

(CBS/AP) Three-year-old Amelia Rivera was denied a kidney transplant because she's "disabled," her parents said earlier this month. After the controversy led to a public outcry, Amelia is now being considered for the procedure, her father said Tuesday.

PICTURES: Amelia Rivera, 3, in struggle for kidney transplant over disability

Joseph Rivera said he and his wife, Chrissy, met with doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday and were told they are now willing to consider a transplant for their 3-year-old daughter, Amelia. The Stratford, N.J., family said doctors initially told them their daughter wasn't eligible for a transplant because of a mental disability.

"At this point, we're moving forward," Rivera said in an interview with The Associated Press. "They are allowing us at least to go through the process."

Rivera said his daughter will now have to go through screenings to see if she's a good transplant candidate. He and his wife will now be going in for tissue testing in March.

"We knew going in that it was a long process," Rivera said.

A CHOP spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the status of the case, which gained prominence after Chrissy Rivera wrote about it on her blog earlier this month.

The hospital previously 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.

Amelia Rivera, who goes by the nickname Mia, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic defect that can cause physical and mental disabilities. She will need a transplant in six months to a year.