It has been more than a year since a young man attempted to save his sister’s life by donating his kidney to her, only to have a nurse at the University of Toledo Medical Center mistakenly throw out the organ. However, the family involved still feels a tremendous amount of pain and frustration over the surgical error.
The sister, who was 24 at the time, was suffering from end-stage renal disease when she learned that her younger brother was willing to donate his kidney to her, and not only that, he was a perfect match. In a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” she said it was the “most amazing moment of [her] life” when her brother agreed to donate.
But the young woman’s glee soon turned to anguish when she was taken out of the operating room and realized that she didn’t have an incision. The young woman said that she kept asking hospital staff members what had happened. Eventually, she learned that her brother’s “perfect” kidney had been thrown away.
The young woman then had to spend the next three months on dialysis before, thankfully, another donor kidney was located and she received a successful transplant at another medical facility. But the family says they have still not fully recovered from the botched first kidney transplant.
The young woman, her brother, their other four siblings and their parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state Court of Claims in Columbus against the University of Toledo Medical Center seeking damages for pain and suffering. The hospital has asked the court to dismiss the charges.
The hospital admits that the kidney was erroneously thrown out during the transplant surgery, but does not admit to any substandard medical care. The hospital also points to Ohio state law holding that an adult child can recover damages on behalf of a parent, but a parent cannot recover damages on behalf of an adult child.
An attorney for the family told “Good Morning America” that the state law “hardly makes sense.”
Undoubtedly, this will be an interesting case to follow.
Source: ABC News, “Ohio Transplant Victim Says Hospital ‘Wasted’ Brother’s Trashed Kidney,” Susan Donaldson James, Aug. 30, 2013