Teenager at centre of treatment dispute thanks kidney donor’s family

·3-min read
William Verden has thanked his kidney donor’s family (Family handout/PA) (PA Archive)
William Verden has thanked his kidney donor’s family (Family handout/PA) (PA Archive)

A teenager who was at the centre of a treatment dispute in a specialist court has thanked a kidney donor’s family for “saving his life”.

William Verden, 17, of Lancaster, was earlier this year embroiled in litigation in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues about people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

William was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease and, in March, a judge ruled that a transplant was in his best interests.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that a transplant “was not futile” and said it gave William a chance of “long-term survival”.

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

Lawyers on Wednesday said the teenager was recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell had represented William’s mother, Ami McLennan, at hearings in London and Liverpool.

A spokesman for the firm said William had “thanked his donor’s family for saving his life”.

The spokesman said William had released a statement, through his mother, saying: “To my donor’s family who sadly lost their loved one, thank you for saving my life.

You gave me life when my life was almost over. You gave me the last thing you could ever give and I’ll be forever so grateful

William Verden

“You gave me life when my life was almost over. You gave me the last thing you could ever give and I’ll be forever so grateful.

“We were brought together in tragedy and, while I don’t know you, we’re now part of each other.

“It’s because of you that I can live my best life.

“Please take comfort in knowing you’ve changed my life in so many ways.

“This is the biggest gift I’ve ever received.”

Ms McLennan had appealed for a donor and wanted William to have a transplant.

She had said her “beautiful boy”, who has autism, deserved a chance of life.

But doctors at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where William was being treated, said the chance of disease recurrence from a transplant would be almost 100%.

They said they could not agree to a transplant and argued that William would suffer psychological and physical harm from post-operation sedation and ventilation, to prevent him pulling out lines and catheters.

Lawyers representing bosses at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust had asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to consider the case and make decisions about what moves were in William’s best interests.

Ms McLennan said “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but we just hope he continues his progress and we can get him home at some point in the near future.

“If everything goes as hoped this will mean William won’t need any more dialysis and he can start looking to the future and things such as going back to college.”

She added: “The joy of William’s transplant will always be tempered by what another family have had to go through to give William this chance.

“We’ll always be grateful for their selflessness and generosity.”