Pa­tient given deadly can­cer by new kid­ney de­mands probe

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ion Scott [email protected]

‘ Know­ing about Tom has made this dou­ble tragedy more painful

Tragic trans­plant pa­tient Pauline Hunt yes­ter­day told of her tears af­ter hear­ing of the loss en­dured by the fam­ily of Tom Tyre­man.

He died af­ter get­ting can­cer from his new liver and Pauline, who was given a kid­ney from the same donor, has been di­ag­nosed with the same ag­gres­sive can­cer.

She said: “I’ve known since sur­geons were forced to re­move my kid­ney in Fe­bru­ary that an­other trans­plant pa­tient had died.

“Ac­tu­ally learn­ing about Tom and his fam­ily has made it so much harder to ac­cept.

“I’ve been in tears think­ing about them all and how they are cop­ing with los­ing him the way they did.

“Know­ing about them per­son­ally has made this dou­ble tragedy so much more painful.”

Pauline, who has two grown chil­dren and her par­ents to think of as well as her hus­band Gor­don, 58, and his fam­ily, said speak­ing to Tom’s fam­ily has made them all even more de­ter­mined to have the truth made pub­lic.

She said: “Now we know even more of the cir­cum­stances about what hap­pened to Tom, all of us are even an­grier be­cause now we be­lieve we were de­lib­er­ately kept in the dark to min­imise the se­ri­ous­ness of what hap­pened to spare the NHS and those re­spon­si­ble.

“Of course it’s im­por­tant that pa­tients and donors have con­fi­dence in the sys­tem but the way to do that is be­ing open and ac­count­able when things go wrong.

“Tom fought so bravely to stay alive for his fam­ily, and I am fac­ing the same bat­tle to stay alive for mine. Liv­ing with a death sen­tence makes ev­ery day pre­cious, but ev­ery day is also so very hard for me and the peo­ple I love.”

Pauline’s hus­band Gor­don said: “Both fam­i­lies now have many more ques­tions that need to be an­swered.

“My fo­cus right now is to make sure Pauline has ev­ery­thing she needs to make what is left of her life as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble.

“But I will go to my grave fight­ing to make sure ev­ery sin­gle thing is in­ves­ti­gated and made pub­lic.

“None of us will be fobbed off any longer. It is not good enough for the doc­tors to sim­ply say ev­ery­thing was done and that there are no lessons to be learned. That should not be their de­ci­sion and politi­cians at West­min­ster or Holy­rood should be ar­rang­ing a proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what has hap­pened here.”

He added: “Peo­ple need to be as­sured the pro­ce­dures for choos­ing trans­plant donors are as safe as they can be, and that the pro­to­cols in place are as ro­bust as pos­si­ble.”

Pauline said: “All we were told was there could be an in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing can­cer some years down the line be­cause of drug treat­ments, not that can­cer could be passed on from a donor or­gan.”

Mr Tyre­man’s sis­ter, Jane, said: “We were told the same. There was no warn­ing an or­gan could pass on can­cer. We are just grate­ful Pauline and her fam­ily are as de­ter­mined as we are to get the truth.

“Dur­ing Tom’s in­quest, his trans­plant sur­geon Pro­fes­sor Derek Manas gave ev­i­dence, but we were not al­lowed to ques­tion him. We now have many ques­tions we would like an­swered by him and oth­ers, and we will fight to make sure that hap­pens.”

Pauline’s lawyer Cameron Fyfe added he has been struck by the sim­i­lar­i­ties in the way both fam­i­lies have been treated. He said: “It ap­pears both fam­i­lies say they were never told of the risk of can­cer from their or­gan donor.

“The very least they all de­serve now is com­plete trans­parency and all their ques­tions an­swered.”

Pic­ture An­drew Caw­ley

Pauline Hunt, at home in Ayr­shire, says she was not prop­erly in­formed of the risks

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