Published December 19, 2012
A woman born with cystic fibrosis who died after being given a lung transplant from a smoker. Her father is now calling for hospitals to tell patients about a donor's health history.
Jennifer Wederell, 27, died of cancer on August 24 at her home in Hawkwell, Essex, 16 months after being given the transplant at Harefield Hospital in London.
She was not told at the time of the transplant that the middle-aged donor had been a smoker.
Now Jennifer's father, Colin Grannell, says people facing organ transplants should be told of any adverse history from the donor that might affect a successful transplant.
He says he does not think his daughter would have agreed to the transplant if she had known the full facts.
The hospital says it is sorry she was not given the choice.
Wederell, who was on oxygen for 24 hours a day by her mid-20s, had been on the waiting list for a lung transplant for 18 months when she was told there was a match in April 2011.
She received the transplant and married her long-term boyfriend, David, that same year.
But by February, less than a year after the operation, Wederell had been diagnosed with cancer, with the terrible news that it had spread.
"The shock immediately turned to anger in so far as all the risks were explained in the hour before her transplant and not once was the fact that a smoker's lungs would be used mentioned," Grannell told the Daily Mail.
"She was dying a death that was meant for someone else."
Grannell has set up a Facebook site, Jennifer's Choice, to encourage non-smokers to sign up to the organ donor register.