Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Mother wins kidney transplant battle for son.
A mother has won a legal battle to ensure her teenage son has the right to a potentially life-saving kidney transplant.
Ami McLennan, from Lancaster, had argued a transplant was 17-year-old William's only chance, as he would have only 12 months to live without it.
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital had claimed his autism would make the operation and aftercare too risky.
But a judge has ruled the teenager should be given a chance to have the operation.
Presiding at the case in the Court of Protection in Liverpool, Mrs Justice Emma Arbuthnot, said she had put herself in "William's shoes.”
She said: "I have no doubt he wants to live a life with the support of his family and that he wants to continue playing 'kerbie' long into the future."
She added that, even though there were many risks involved in a transplant, it was the only way of potentially securing William's long-term survival.
Her decision came after a four-day hearing that considered evidence from clinicians involved in William's care as well as experts representing both the hospital and his family.
The court heard how William, who has autism, ADHD and learning disabilities, was not deemed to have the capacity to make such a complex decision about his future.
His mother said they should never have had "to fight this" but added, "now we have got a chance.”
She said: "William's situation is critical. It could mean the difference between life and death. All we have ever wanted is for him to be added to the transplant list and treatment continued until a donor is found."
She believes, with the right care, her son could cope with the complexity of such a procedure, as well as having various lines for dialysis and other treatment post operation if needed.
The hospital argued the only way of ensuring a successful transplant would be to put William under sedation and ventilation for an extended period of time, which could cause huge psychological trauma.
Despite these risks, William, a keen golfer, gave evidence to the judge in a private hearing in which he said he wanted the operation and that it would "make him better.”
He told Justice Arbuthnot that, while he was scared about the operation, he wanted the chance to live longer.
The judge told the court: "It is very clear he enjoys the life he leads, playing games and doing odd jobs, going to school and being at home with his family."
The health trust had argued that, post operation, William would be unable to cope with the five tubes in his body after the operation and there was a risk he could pull them out and damage his new kidney.
Acting for Ms McLennan, Victoria Butler Cole, disputed this saying that with the right care and reasonable adjustments, such as having relatives or a carer present to stroke his hand and calm him, he had proven that he could manage such complex treatment.
Several potential donors have come forward willing to donate a kidney if they are found to be a match.
Joint medical director at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Ms Toli Onon, said: "We welcome the clarity which this decision brings for William, his family and our clinicians.
"The trust asked the Court of Protection to make today's judgment because of how unusual, complex and risky the situation is.
"William, his family and our staff have all worked really hard together to support his dialysis and we will now be liaising with William and his family regarding how best to progress his treatment.