A mum from Lancaster said she is “overwhelmed” by the response to her kidney donor appeal, which she launched for her son.

William Verden, 17, who has a rare kidney disease and is being kept alive by dialysis, is at the centre of a treatment dispute.

His mother, Ami McLennan, 45, was “overcome with emotion” by the response to her appeal, lawyers said.

Lancashire Telegraph: Ami McLennan with her son William Verden (Family handout/PA)Ami McLennan with her son William Verden (Family handout/PA)

A judge is preparing to decide what treatment options are in the teenager’s best interests.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is due to oversee a trial in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to take decisions for themselves, in Liverpool later this month.

Ms McLennan says a transplant is a “feasible option”.

Specialists treating William, who has autism, at Manchester Children’s Hospital say a transplant is not in his best interests.

Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to consider the case and make decisions.

Ms McLennan last week appealed for a donor – and lawyers say people have responded.

“A number of people have now come forward seeing if they can help William,” a spokesman for law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing Ms McLennan, said on Monday (14 February).

“As investigations start to assess suitability the family want to hear from other potential donors.”

Lawyer Liz Davis, who is based at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Amy and the rest of the family have been overcome with emotion by the response to the appeal and the messages of support they’ve received.

Lancashire Telegraph: William Verden is at the centre of a court treatment as his mother Ami McLennan has launched an appeal for a donor (Family handout/PA)William Verden is at the centre of a court treatment as his mother Ami McLennan has launched an appeal for a donor (Family handout/PA)

“While this means a lot to him, William’s condition is still extremely serious and he faces a very uncertain future.”

Lawyers say William, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was diagnosed with the kidney condition “focal segmental glomerulosclerosis” in December 2019.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot has ruled that William can be named in media reports of the case.

The judge outlined detail of arguments in a preliminary ruling published last week

She said William suffered from “steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome”, and outlined the opposing arguments being put forward about treatment options.

“The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has sought declarations in relation to William’s capacity and best interests regarding his treatment options,” she said.

“The trust’s position … is that they oppose transplant for a series of the reasons they have set out, essentially that William will require sedation and ventilation for possibly up to six weeks to ensure that he complies with the interventions post-operatively and that the prospect of recurrence of the steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome is high, about 80%.

“His mother opposes the trust’s application.

“She relies on expert evidence which points more towards a 50% chance of recurrence and the same expert says that a transplant is a feasible option and gives to William a reasonable potential for a good long-term outcome.”

A spokesperson for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said: “We recognise that this is a very difficult time for William and his family and we will continue to support them.

"Our clinicians have worked very hard to enable William’s treatment to take place so far, and he continues to have his haemodialysis, as agreed with his family, subject to any change in his clinical condition.

"The decision on whether a transplant would be in his best interest is a very complex one, requiring consideration of a range of very difficult issues including significant risks and the possibility that his transplant would fail, which is why the Court of Protection is being asked to make a decision on the best care for William going forward.”

The Irwin Mitchell spokesman said prospective donors would need to undergo tests before a decision on whether they were a suitable donor was made.

He said that for more information, people could visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk/become-a-living-donor/donating-your-kidney/donating-a-kidney-to-someone-you-dont-know/