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11 Jul 19
Infected Blood Inquiry – Oral Hearing Edinburgh – Week 2, Day 2

Mr W

The first witness of day two, week two of the Inquiry’s Edinburgh Hearing was anonymous witness Mr W.

Mr W told the Inquiry how his wife received a kidney transplant in the early 1980s. Around three to four weeks following the transplant Mr W’s wife became increasingly unwell, developing lethargy and losing weight.

Mr W described how two years after the transplant his wife continued to feel fatigued which led her to seek medical attention. At the hospital his wife was told she had contracted AIDS. Following this news, Mr W’s wife was told by a doctor not to disclose this information to anyone as he did not want her to be stigmatised. Mr W told the Inquiry that he and his wife told their family that she had cancer rather than revealing the truth.

Mr W explained that not long after his wife was diagnosed with AIDS she was told it had originated from the kidney transplant she had received in the early 1980s. The man who had donated the kidney had been severely injured in a road traffic accident and required a blood transfusion. It was soon discovered this blood transfusion was contaminated with AIDS. Mr W told the Inquiry that five other individuals who had received organ transplants from the same donor went onto contract the AIDS virus.

Concluding his evidence, Mr W stated that he lost his house and developed PTSD following his wife’s death.

Sir Brian said of Mr W’s evidence: “We’ve heard some very disturbing tales in this inquiry. I think few if any can be quite as cruel to the sufferer as the story of what happened to your wife, who went in for a life saving treatment and came out with a  death sentence”.

Christine Norval

The second witness of the day was Christine Norval. Christine gave evidence as an affected person discussing her husband Bruce, a severe haemophiliac.

Christine told the Inquiry that not long after she met Bruce he began to experience symptoms of fatigue and nausea which subsequently interfered with his nursing studies. Not long after experiencing these symptoms Christine and Bruce welcomed their first child and were rocked by the news that Bruce had tested positive for hepatitis C.

Christine explained the dreadful side effects of the Interferon treatment Bruce endured.

The Inquiry heard that Bruce has been a long standing member of the charity, Manor House Group , that has actively campaigned for an Inquiry.

Sir Brian asked at the end of Christine’s evidence what she and Bruce would do once the Inquiry was over. Christine simply said her husband would like to relax and play music in their garden.

Graeme Malloch

The third and final witness providing evidence today was Graeme Malloch.

Graeme told the Inquiry that as a young man he required regular treatment for his haemophilia, with an inhibitor increasing the severity of these bleeds.  He went on to state that he was informed in the early 1980s his haemophilia treatment would be changing to factor products as these were now considered better treatment for haemophilia.

In 1995 Graeme was informed in a letter he had tested positive for hepatitis C. Many years later Graeme discovered a blood test carried out in 1992 had shown he was positive for the virus then. Graeme told the Inquiry how he had not provided consent to be tested for hepatitis C in 1992.

In his evidence Graeme described how as a teenager finding out this news he put on a brave face, but inside he felt as though his life had come to an end.

Graeme described the discrimination he faced whilst being rejected from a job he had previously been offered. He explained, as soon as a medical was undertaken and the hepatitis C was discovered the job offer was withdrawn.

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