Iraq War Veteran Dies of Cancer After Double Lung Transplant From Heavy Smoker

October 12, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A British Iraq War veteran who should be still in his prime, has died after he was given a pair of cancerous lungs donated by a smoker as part of a lung transplant. Matthew Millington, 31, a corporal in the Queen’s Royal Lancers, needed the transplant because he had an incurable lung condition.  Corporal Millington had served in the army since he was 16, but started to struggle with his breathing while in Iraq in 2005. A year later he was told he would die in two years unless he had a transplant.
A donor was found allegedly from someone who smoked 30 to 50 cigarettes a day, according to the Daily Mail,  and the double lung transplant went ahead in April 2007 at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.   Six months after the transplant — a tumor was discovered, and he died in February last year. At an inquest, coroner Ian Smith said he had died from “complications of transplant surgery”. Eventually, an investigation into the hospital pinpointed a string of problems.  In Millington’s case, it was found that an X-ray technician had failed to spot the growth of the cancerous tumor in its early stages. Drugs given to Millington to help his body accept the new organs sped up the spread of the tumor, it said.  His widow, Siobhan, said: “All he wanted was another set of lungs. He said ‘They’ve given me a dud pair.'”  The hospital defended its use of smokers’ lungs in transplants and said all organs were screened rigorously, the Mail said.


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3 Responses to “Iraq War Veteran Dies of Cancer After Double Lung Transplant From Heavy Smoker”

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