Cardiff inquest as two die after 'infected' kidney op

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Media captionThe inquest into the deaths of Robert Stuart and Darren Hughes is on Tuesday

Two men died after having a kidney transplant from the same donor whose organs were allegedly infected with a parasitic worm, solicitors say.

An inquest will be held into the deaths of Robert Stuart, from Cardiff, and Darren Hughes, of Bridgend, next week.

Lawyers for their families say they hope to find answers on why their deaths happened.

The donor of the kidneys also died from the same infection, according to solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

The inquest is scheduled to be heard at Cardiff Coroner's Court on Tuesday.

It will be almost a year since the deaths of 67-year-old Mr Stuart - who was known as Jim - and 42-year-old Mr Hughes.

Both transplants took place at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

According to Irwin Mitchell, both died of an infection caused by a parasitic worm known as halicephalobus, which lives in soil and is often found in horses.

The lawyers say there have only been a handful of cases in the world of people diagnosed with the infection, and all have died.

Julie Lewis, of Irwin Mitchell, said both families were going through an "incredibly difficult time" and were "desperately seeking answers".

Ruth Walker, director of nursing at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: "This is a unique and tragic case and everyone at the health board extends their sincere and heartfelt sympathies to the families involved.

"The health board requested its own independent, external review to establish why these patients died.

Image copyright American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
Image caption The worm lives in soil and is often found in horses

"That report has been provided to the coroner's office and we continue to support his investigation into these tragic deaths. It would be inappropriate to comment further ahead of the inquest."

'Extending our sympathy'

James Neuberger assistant medical director, NHS Blood and Transplant said: "I would like to offer my sympathy on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant to the families of Mr Hughes and Mr Stuart who are having to come to terms with the unexpected deaths of their loved ones following their transplants.

A Public Health Wales spokesman said: "We would like to join others in extending our sympathy to the families of the two people that died following kidney transplants that took place in University of Wales Hospital Cardiff in December last year.

"Given that the inquest into the deaths has not begun yet, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Both transplants took place at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, Irwin Mitchell solicitors say

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