Knebworth couple criticise BBC1 show’s organ donor plot

Kathryn & Rob Graham

Kathryn & Rob Graham - Credit: Archant

A KNEBWORTH couple desperately waiting for an organ donation have criticised an “irresponsible” BBC medical show – saying it could put lives at risk.

Kathryn Graham and her husband Rob hit out at drama Holby City, which last week centred on a heart-swap plot.

Mrs Graham, 51, has been waiting for nearly two years for a lifesaving heart and lung transplant. She now fears the drama could undermine efforts to find donors.

In the episode, the mother of a donor girl was told the recipient’s name.

She also spoke to the recipient’s transplant team, and saw surgeons start to operate – after he had withdrawn consent.

None of this would have happened in reality.

Mr Graham, 54, said: “Some people have accused me of overreacting, but when it’s something that’s so important, it’s just irresponsible.

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“Anything that undermines it (organ donation) is very ill advised.

“We were hurling abuse at the television when it was on.

“Some people may have been influenced by what they saw and they may decide they’re not going to sign up.”

Mother-of-two Mrs Graham, of Stevenage Road, Knebworth, was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension around two-and-half years ago and was moved on to the transplant list within months because her condition was so bad.

People are only put on the list when it is feared they have less than two years to live – so far the ex-teacher has been waiting more than 500 days.

A BBC spokesman said: “Holby City has the utmost respect for real life medical professionals and in no way was it our intention to suggest that our portrayal of a heart transplant was an accurate reflection of how such a scenario would typically be handled within the NHS.

“As with all storylines we worked closely with medical experts who advised on transplant protocols but the purpose of this storyline is to dramatise the consequences that could arise should the correct protocols be wilfully ignored.

“This is an ongoing story and in the weeks to come viewers will see the main character Mo face up to the fallout of her actions.”