They told us our dad getting cancer after his transplant was just dreadful coincidence...but that wasn’t true
Daughter reveals family’s loss, shock and anger
The first victim of a double transplant tragedy, who died after getting cancer from his new liver, can be revealed today. Tom Tyreman, 63, died after getting an organ from the same donor who gave a kidney to Pauline Hunt, 49. Since his death, she has been diagnosed with the same lethal cancer.
Mr Tyreman’s family were not told his new liver had given him a terminal illness until weeks after his death in February. Surgeons initially insisted he must have already had cancer. However, a post mortem on the dad of two revealed he had contracted cancer from the liver donated by a 57-year-old woman. His widow Judy, 63, said: “Until then, we’d been repeatedly told that Tom must have had bowel cancer before his operation. “The surgeon insisted Tom must have had the cancer even though he’d been taken into the hospital to undergo three days of testing and been given a clean bill of health before the transplant could take place.”
Mr Tyreman’s daughter Emma said: “We were told dad must have had cancer before he got his transplant, or it was some kind of terrible coincidence, but that wasn’t true.”
The truth emerged after Judy called the Newcastle Coroner’s Office several weeks after the post mortem. She said: “They told me that DNA tests carried out at Tom’s post mortem proved the cancer cells were female and had
Six days after his transplant, Tom Tyreman sits in a chair in his hospital room – unaware that his new liver has already given him terminal cancer.
His widow Judy took the picture in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
She said: “I only took the photo because I hoped to buck him up down the line and show him how far he had come once he was on the road to recovery. “But that moment never came. It’s so hard to look at it now.” Tom’s family say they feel “badly let down” by the hospital and the NHS Blood and Transplant service. They say they had to drag every admission from doctors and only learned last week that another transplant patient, Pauline Hunt, had been given the same aggressive cancer by her new kidney.
Judy revealed nobody from the transplant team got in touch until the night before Tom’s funeral.
She said: “I suspect they only got in touch then because a family friend who was also a patient had been at a clinic that day and was asking if they’d been in touch with us.
“It was as if they just didn’t want to know us once things started to go wrong.”
Tom’s sister Jane said: “We have been turning ourselves inside out trying to get to the truth about what really went on and why Tom died the way he did. “When we discovered there was another family affected too, it was a shock. “Nobody had mentioned that others had been affected. “There’s been too much secrecy over what happened.
“I don’t think for one moment Pauline and her family and our family would even have got to know about each other, never mind getting to support each other, if the Sunday Post hadn’t told us.
“We’re heartbroken for Pauline and her family and what they have ahead of them.
“It’s almost a year since both Tom and Pauline had the transplants that will end both their lives.
“We’re still struggling to come to terms with losing my big brother. He’s left a huge hole in all our hearts.”
Tom Tyreman, at wedding of his son Jonathan last year, died after his transplant
How we broke the story last week
Tom Tyreman in hospital after transplant operation