Kidney death families 'disappointed' by inquest outcome

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Media captionThe families of two men who died following kidney transplants speak to the BBC

The families of two men who died after receiving organs infected with a parasitic worm are "disappointed" with the outcome of the inquests.

Robert "Jim" Stuart, 67, and Darren Hughes, 42, died in 2013 after receiving kidneys at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Mr Stuart's widow said their evidence at the hearing was not listened to.

The Cardiff coroner concluded the surgeon could not be criticised for accepting the organs.

"We're disappointed," Judith Stuart told BBC News.

"We feel the evidence we gave was not correctly listened to."

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption 'Specialised risks' of the transplant were not revealed insist Judith and Duncan Stuart

Both men died following the operations where they were given kidneys later found to be infected with meningitis-causing parasitic worms.

Mrs Stuart said they would never have consented to the transplant if they had known the donor - an alcoholic - had died of meningitis.

"For him it was not a matter of life and death. He could've waited until a suitable kidney arose, he didn't have to take the risk that was never explained to him because he would never have taken it," she said.

She added she was with her husband for six hours before he went in to surgery and "we had no idea a high risk was attached" to the organ.

Mrs Stuart said both families met some time after the deaths.

"Both families... telling similar stories about the consent procedure and it wasn't listened to," she said.

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Media captionBBC reporter John Maguire speaks to Judith Stuart, Jackie and Ian Hughes, and solicitor Julie Lewis

UHW has said there was informed consent but Mr Stuart's son, Duncan, said the families view was "completely contrary to that".

"There was no reason to take a risk on an organ with dad, there was every reason, if there was a risk, to wait," he said.

"We fully appreciate there's risks with every organ transplant - standardised risks - and actually on the consent form with dad... there were just standardised risks written on that consent form, so that, coupled with what we're saying that we weren't told about any specialised risk, leads us to a slightly different conclusion to the coroner of the informed consent point."

The inquest heard there have only been five known cases worldwide in humans - all of which had proved fatal.

On Thursday, assistant coroner Christopher Woolley gave a narrative conclusion, ruling both men died due to the unintended consequences of necessary medical intervention.

The families of both Mr Stewart, of Cardiff, and Mr Hughes, of Bridgend, have appointed a solicitor to investigate civil negligence claims.

But the surgical team at UHW told the inquest both men knew the donor's medical history.

Image copyright Prof Hany Elsheikha Nottingham University
Image caption The donated kidneys were infected with a parasitic worm

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