My ‘beautiful boy’ deserves chance of life-saving transplant, mother tells court

·2-min read
William Verden is at the centre of a court battle over a kidney transplant (Family handout/PA) (PA Wire)
William Verden is at the centre of a court battle over a kidney transplant (Family handout/PA) (PA Wire)

A teenager who wants a potential life-saving kidney transplant “deserves a chance”, his mother has told a court.

The Court of Protection has been asked to ruled over a treatment dispute involving William Verden, 17, who is on dialysis and suffers from steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

His mother Ami McLennan, 45, from Lancaster, has made an appeal for a donor for an operation which is said to have a 50% chance of success.

However, medics at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where William is treated, argue the chance of disease recurrence from a transplant would be nearer 100%.

He is constantly saying ‘When am I going to get better,? When am I going to have a transplant?' I don’t answer. I can’t lie to him

Ami McLennan

They say a transplant would not be in the best interests of William, who has autism and ADHD, because of the length of time he would need to be sedated and ventilated to prevent him pulling out lines and catheters.

Giving evidence in Liverpool on Wednesday, Ms McLennan said: “I just think he deserves a chance. I understand the risks but I think William’s voice needs to be heard.

“I am here because he deserves a transplant. I am under no illusion it might not work.”

She described her son as “full of life and energy”.

She said: “He is quite cheeky, very active, loves golf and likes to be busy. He is a beautiful little boy. Beautiful inside and out.”

Asked what William’s likely reaction would be if told he could not have a transplant, Ms McLennan said: “He will be upset.

Ami McLennan with her son William (Family handout/PA) (PA Wire)
Ami McLennan with her son William (Family handout/PA) (PA Wire)

“He is constantly saying ‘When am I going to get better,? When am I going to have a transplant?’

“I don’t answer. I can’t lie to him.”

William’s life expectancy on dialysis is 12 months, the court has heard, and would be a matter of just a few weeks without it.

Ms McLennan said she had concerns about his ability to engage with dialysis if the decision goes against him.

Consultant psychologist Dr Steven Carnaby, an expert witness, shared those fears.

He told the hearing, “He is convinced it (the transplant) will happen. My concern for him is that he will give up and he won’t see the point.”

The hearing continues on Thursday.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is expected to give her judgment next week.

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