Smoker's Lungs Kill War Hero Transplant Patient

Young corporal complained about 'dud' lungs
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 12, 2009 3:10 AM CDT
The lungs given to Corp. Matthew Millington came from a man who smoked as many as 50 cigaretts a day.   (©spratmackrel)
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(Newser) – A British war hero died of a cancerous tumor after receiving "dud" lungs from a heavy smoker in a transplant operation, his wife complained in an inquest. After Iraq vet Corp. Matthew Millington was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease, he was given lungs from a dead man who had smoked 50 cigarettes a day, reports the Times of London. Immuno-suppressive drugs given to Millington for the transplant helped speed the cancer, which appeared within months of the transplant.

“All Matthew wanted was another set of lungs," his wife testified. "He said: ‘They have given me a dud pair, get me another set.'" Millington was not eligible for a second transplant because by then he had cancer from the smoker's lungs. Smokers' lungs are often used in transplants. Without them, transplant organ shortages would be more severe, hospital officials noted.