Families Sue Over Transplant Organs

The families of two transplant patients who received organs from an unidentified donor with a rare, undetected parasite have filed lawsuits against Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Ellecia Small of Canton died Feb. 3, 2010, after being removed from life support. Another patient, who received an organ, had only been identified by UMMC as an Alabama man. The Clarion-Ledger reports that a lawsuit identities him as Kinyata Johnson.

Johnson’s attorney says he was released from UMMC in May 2010 but requires constant care.

The parasite infecting the donor was later identified as a free-living soil amoeba.

The amoeba causes encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.