Day 3 began with the oral evidence of Clair Walton who was also giving evidence on behalf of her late husband Brian. Brian contracted HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated Factor VIII and passed away in 1993. Clair also became infected with HIV in 1987.
Clair would like the stigma and discrimination of those infected with HIV to change and, to do that, people shouldn’t be forced to remain silent and the voices of those suffering with HIV should be heard.
One of the big aspects of Clair’s evidence was discussing the Macfarlane Trust and how both she and Brian were treated in respect of how they applied for assistance. It was acknowledged around the room that the couple and Clair individually have been treated poorly by the Macfarlane Trust. Clair held a number of documents where the Trust discussed her in a negative way and as Clair described the contempt in which they held her.
The next witness was a Mrs A who has been granted anonymity by the Inquiry. Mrs A has von Willebrands disease but mild in nature and didn’t require regular treatment.
She was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1993 and described feeling like a “leper” with the stigma associated with hepatitis C. She discussed how even the medical professionals made her feel like she was a “dirty case” as her treatment would always take place at the end of the day which she found soul destroying.
Mrs A has been clear of hepatitis C for over five years but does still gets brain fog and tiredness as a legacy of the infection.
The final witness of the day was Lesley who has a mild form of von Willebrands disease and was infected with hepatitis C in the mid 1980’. She was told about the hepatitis C between 1994-1995.
Lesley spoke about the guilt she felt about being unable to work full time which meant she couldn’t give her children what she thought she should have been able to.
Lesley welcomed the Inquiry and wishes to engage with it as much as she can. She hopes that there are lessons learnt so what has happened to her and others never happens again.