Family joy after judge rules Lancaster teen with rare kidney disease should be allowed potentially life-saving transplant

The family of a teenager with a rare kidney disease have spoken of their joy after a judge ruled he should be allowed to receive a potentially life-saving transplant.

By Michelle Blade
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 4:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 12:56 pm

William Verden, of Lancaster, has a rare kidney disease and is currently being kept alive through dialysis. However, the 17-year-old has been told that he only has at most 12 months before dialysis will stop working.

His family, including mum Amy McLennan, launched a legal case asking that the youngster be allowed to receive a transplant. They launched an appeal seeking possible donors, with a number of people coming forward wanting to help.

A judge in the Court of Protection has today ruled that a transplant will be in William’s best interests.

William Verden.

Liz Davis the specialist medical treatment disputes and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Amy, said after the hearing: “Naturally as a parent all Amy wants is to offer her son the best chance in life; she strongly believes a transplant will give William this.

“This is an incredibly sensitive case which has prompted a really important discussion not only about William’s care but also about the wider issue of providing medical treatment to people with autism and learning disabilities.

“While the last few days and listening to the evidence has been tough for Amy and the rest of the family it was something they felt they had to do to try and safeguard William’s future.

“Strong legal arguments were put forward as to what is in William’s best interests.

“We’re pleased that the judge has ruled in William’s favour and understandably Amy and the family are overjoyed.

“We’ll continue to support Amy at this emotional time as the family now turn their attention to trying to find a suitable donor for William.”

Amy said: “Bringing a legal case isn’t something we ever wanted or thought we would need to do, however, William’s situation is critical and could mean the difference between life and death.

“All we have wanted was for him to be added to the transplant list and his treatment to be continued until a donor is found. I feel it’s the minimum he deserves and what any mum would do for their child.

“As a family we still struggle to comprehend why William’s case has gotten to this stage but this judgment is about trying to look to the future. What’s happened is in the past and we now need to focus on trying to find the crucial donor who can provide William with the best chance in life.”

Ms Toli Onon, joint group medical director for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said: “We welcome the clarity which this decision brings for William, his family and our clinicians.

“William has a rare condition affecting his kidneys, and each treatment option had its own risks to his health and wellbeing.

“That’s why we asked the Court to make this difficult decision, and why the judge noted that she respected our approach to establishing what’s best for William.

“William, his family and our staff have all worked really hard together to support his dialysis; and we will now be liaising with William and his family regarding how best to progress his treatment.”