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Politician demands inquiry into double transplant tragedy

SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron.
SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron.

AN MP is to demand a parliamentary inquiry into the transplant tragedy when two patients were given lethal cancer by their new organs.

Lisa Cameron said she is “not satisfied” with the response she has received from the NHS transplant service and she is now pushing for an inquiry by Westminster’s Health and Social Care Committee.

She will be calling on them to investigate after we revealed transplant patient Pauline Hunt contracted terminal cancer from a new kidney.

Pauline, 49, from Kilmarnock, is now too ill to have chemotherapy, while another transplant victim, Tom Tyreman, 63, died last February after contracting cancer from a liver taken from the same donor.

Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, contacted the NHS Blood and Transplant service and was told by chief executive Sally Johnson that one in 2,000 donors have cancer tumours which are not picked up.

The MP’s inquiry call was praised by Pauline and Gordon Hunt, who brought their wedding forward following the deadly diagnosis that cancer from the donor kidney had travelled through the mum of two’s body.

Pauline said: “We need politicians like Lisa to uncover what really went on. Every possible lesson must be learned.”

Pauline and Tom, from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, got their transplants on December 10 2017.

The cancer left Tom blind before he died last February. Within weeks, loving dad Mal Duffy also died without ever regaining consciousness following a lung transplant.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman said: “We do everything we can to make sure all donated organs are suitable for transplant.

“The transmission of an undiagnosed cancer is a known risk, although thankfully it is very rare. The cancer may be in only a few cells at the time of donation, and not possible to pick up.

“An investigation found all processes were followed correctly.”