Judgment on brain-damage transplant boy reserved

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The Independent Online
Judgment was reserved yesterday in the High Court damages claim on behalf of a boy who suffered profound brain damage when he underwent a heart transplant.

The cardiac surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub rejected accusations that his team at Harefield Hospital failed to warn Kevin and Linda Poynter of the possibility of brain injury to their son Matthew, now 10. The Poynters, of Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, say they would have refused consent for the transplant in 1987 had they been told of the risk and are suing Hillingdon Health Authority in Middlesex.

Matthew, whose injuries occurred when he suffered a cardiac arrest during anaesthesia, was the only child to sustain brain damage among the 268 who have received new hearts at Harefield. He will now need lifelong nursing care.

The judge said he would give his ruling on Wednesday morning.