Ohio Transplant Victim Says Hospital 'Wasted' Brother's Trashed Kidney

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In the months between her failed surgery and the one in Denver, Sarah "suffered through painful dialysis, four painful surgeries ... and was forced to live through the uncertainty of whether she would ever find a kidney suitable for transplant before dying," the family has alleged in its lawsuit.

Dr. Michael Rees, the surgeon who performed the surgery, continues to work at the public medical center, according to court documents.

The center's administrator of surgical services was placed on paid administrative leave.

A part-time nurse who discarded the contents of the protective slush machine, including the kidney, before surgery was complete, resigned Sept. 10, 2012.

UTMC fired longtime nurse Melanie Lemay, who relieved the part-timer when the latter took a break. Lemay is now suing the hospital for wrongful discharge, defamation, slander and libel, according to a complaint filed Aug. 2 in the Ohio Court of Claims.

The suit seeks damages exceeding $25,000.

John and Sarah Fudacz, their parents and their four other siblings filed the lawsuit July 29 against UTMC in the state Court of Claims in Columbus, alleging medical negligence and damages for pain and suffering.

The eight members of the Fudacz family asked for damages of $25,000 each, according to the lawsuit.

As for the health of the Fudacz siblings, they are "functioning well," according to attorney Arnold.

"But the quality of the kidney is not as good as the one the brother was going to give to her," he said. "The match characteristics are not as good when you take it from a stranger."

He argued that Sarah Fudacz has a higher risk of organ rejection and might have to undergo another transplant in her lifetime.

"From a functional perspective, Paul can live on one kidney, unless something happens to him," Arnold said.

"But I have never known anyone who wants a kidney taken away for no good reason."

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