The parents of a 3-year-old New Jersey girl said that the girl had been denied a kidney transplant because of her mental disabilities.

The distressed mom claimed that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia denied her sick daughter a transplant because a physician there said that she was “mentally retarded”.

Three-year-old Amelia Rivera has Wolf-Hirshhorn syndrome, a genetic disorder that hinders growth and development, and her parents said that if she does not get a transplant she will most likely die in the next six months to a year.

Her mother, Chrissy Rivera, blogged about her Jan. 10 visit on Rivera said that a doctor told her and her husband Joe Rivera that Amelia was not eligible for a transplant because of her "quality of life" and her "mental delays".

"I begin to shake," she wrote. "My whole body trembles and he begins to tell me how she will never be able to get on the waiting list because she is mentally retarded."

The doctor allegedly said that he wouldn’t recommend the procedure because it would be difficult for Amelia, given her condition, to take the appropriate medications to sustain the organ. However, Rivera argued that research on Wolf-Hirshhorn syndrome is outdated, and that her daughter would benefit from a transplant.

After Rivera’s blog post, more than 22,500 people have signed an online petition by Tuesday night to convince the hospital to allow the toddler a transplant, AP reported. Apparently a reader who had been inspired by Amelia’s story launched a campaign on the website last Friday.

The hospital said the following in a statement:

"The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities. We have transplanted many children with a wide range of disabilities, including physical and intellectual disabilities. We at CHOP are deeply committed to providing the best possible medical care to all children, including those with any form of disability."