Papworth woman blasts NHS for giving her father a liver transplant
THE daughter of a suicidal father-of-three who was given a liver transplant against his wishes has criticised the NHS for wasting a donor organ. David Woods, 56, had bi-polar disorder and was left with the mental age of a six-year-old following a fail
THE daughter of a suicidal father-of-three who was given a liver transplant against his wishes has criticised the NHS for ''wasting'' a donor organ.
David Woods, 56, had bi-polar disorder and was left with the mental age of a six-year-old following a failed overdose attempt in December 2006.
But David, who wanted to die, was given an emergency liver transplant on the NHS to prolong his life.
Surgeons at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge relied on the advice of a psychiatrist about David's best interests - rather than his immediate family.
It means David - who can no longer drive, clean or cook for himself - now requires round-the-clock care in a specialist care home.
He has been left trapped in a ''living hell'' and still ''obsesses'' about how to end his misery and take his own life, according to relatives.
- 1 Nursery rated inadequate after inspectors said safety was 'compromised'
- 2 Woman who could barely walk is taking part in cycling event after shedding 19 stones
- 3 Philip Pope named mayor of St Ives for a second time
- 4 New organic coffee shop opens in St Neots
- 5 Find out what's happening in Huntingdonshire for the Queen's Jubilee?
- 6 St Neots Street Food Fest promises to be "bigger and better"
- 7 A14 westbound reopens after crash caused 7 miles of delays
- 8 Shoplifter barred from every M&S and Sainsbury's in Cambridgeshire
- 9 Plans to demolish barn and create organic food business
- 10 RSPCA investigating 'welfare of beagles' at Huntingdon dog breeding unit
His daughter Nadine Woods, 29, from Papworth has blasted the NHS for going ahead with the operation without David's, or his family's, permission.
She says the healthy liver should have been used to help a patient who really wanted to live.
Nadine revealed she is now ''torn'' about taking her father to a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland to end his ''abysmal'' quality of life.
Receptionist Nadine, said: ''I never wanted to lose my dad but I also never wanted him to be saved.
''If they had asked the family, who care and know him, we would have asked for him to be put to rest.
''My dad has not had a day's happiness since the operation. There has not been one day when he thought 'I am glad to be alive'.
''It is shameful that a donor has wasted his liver and it's horrible to think someone else could have been enjoying a healthy life.''
She added: ''I am absolutely torn over whether to take him to Switzerland or not. It's a 50-50 split.
''I keep saying I will give him another year, but most of the time I think it's the kindest thing I could do to my dad. Every day is torture for him.''
David has suffered bi-polar disorder and depression since the age of 16 and divorced Nadine's mother in 1991.
In June 2006, he tried to take his own life but the attempt - which failed - was described only as a ''cry for help''.
But in December that year, he reached ''the end of his tether''.
Within the space of a few hours he tried to cut his throat with a blunt bread knife and drown himself in the bath, before taking a massive overdose of Co-codamol.
He was rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital where doctors warned he would die within 24 hours from liver failure unless he was given an immediate transplant.
Nadine rushed to Cambridge with her brother Ashley, 27, and sister Laura, 21, where they were told the operation had already gone ahead.
But she said: ''By the time we got to Cambridge they had operated. I did not understand why he had been given a transplant.''
David's body accepted the liver but he spent the following six weeks in a coma - leaving him permanently brain damaged and with learning difficulties.
He spent the following year in a psychiatric unit before being transferred to the specialist care unit in Cambridge, in February 2008.
Nadine said: ''Over time he slowly started to remember what happened and realised he was 10 times worse off than before.
''Ten percent of my dad's personality is still there but the rest of the time resentment makes him a very angry and frustrated person.
''I love my dad and don't want to see him die, but I can't bear to watch him suffering like this.''
Dr Tom Dening, medical director of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust defended the decision.
He said: ''You always have to give life the benefit of the doubt.
''If someone comes into A&E having decided to take their own life they are referred for a mental health assessment by a psychiatrist.
''Doctors might not be able to get the patient's consent for transplant. They would ideally consult the family but it is not the family's decision and sometimes there is simply not time to wait.
''A liver transplant is a huge operation especially if the patient has an acutely failing liver. This patient appears to have been very unfortunate in having post-op complications.''