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21 Jun 19
Infected Blood Inquiry – Oral Hearing Leeds – Week 2, Day 3

Mr O

The first of four witnesses on day three was Mr O.  He received a transfusion of red blood and plasma following a scald at 9 months old.  Mr O was diagnosed with hepatitis C around the age of 9 years old.

Mr O spoke of not being able to do what his friends were doing at a young age and that he had to look after himself like he was an adult from a young age.

Mr O finished his evidence by saying that the whole situation should never have happened and that he is grateful for the campaigners for getting the infected and affected to where they are now.

Courtney Hildyard

The next witness of the day was Courtney who is a mild haemophiliac infected with hepatitis C in the early 1980’s.

In the 1970’s Courtney worked in the same building as the Regional Transfusion Service in Newcastle and there was a pride in the fact that the British blood donation service was voluntary and there was a pride in the blood products produced.  He spoke of how it was recognised at the time that American products were inferior and came from “skid row” donors.

Courtney talked eloquently of his past and current health struggles.  He also spoke of the risks associated with blood products and how those risks were downplayed with Factor VIII and that blood was seen as a commodity.

Sir Brian Longstaff thanked Courtney for his understated and quietly reflective evidence.

Richard Warwick

The third witness of the day was Richard who suffers from severe haemophilia A.  Richard began being prescribed Factor VIII in the mid 1970’s and started at Treloar’s school in September 1976.

Richard was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1988 and subsequently hepatitis C in the early 1990’s.  Since being diagnosed Richard has been wary of being out in public and described that he has been housebound for 20 years for fear of putting others at risk should something happen to him outside of his home.

He described the memory loss he has suffered as a result of his illness as being like a brick wall in front of him with bricks missing and through the gaps he could just about see his memories.

At the end of his evidence Richard thanked his wife and the campaigning community, who he described as his extended family, for their support.

Ms Q

The final witness of the day was a second anonymous witness to be known as Ms Q.  Her late husband had mild haemophilia A.  He received Factor VIII products in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

In the mid 1980’s he was diagnosed with HIV and was given a prognosis of 2 years to live.  Ms Q described how this utterly destroyed her husband and he became a shadow of the man he was before the diagnosis.

Ms Q went on to speak about how her husband received a liver transplant in 1999 but unfortunately he passed away six months after receiving the transplant at the age of only 40.

Ms Q finished her evidence by speaking of her family and the things that her husband missed out on and her hopes for the outcome of the Inquiry.

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