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12 Jul 19
Infected Blood Inquiry – Oral Hearing Edinburgh – Week 2, Day 4

Mr AB

The first witness on the final day of the Inquiry’s Edinburgh hearing was anonymous witness Mr AB. MR AB told the Inquiry that his twin sons both had severe haemophilia A.  Mr AB said his twin sons were very active, mischievous and fun.

The Inquiry heard that in the mid 1980s, Mr AB and his wife were informed their twin boys had contracted HIV. Mr AB said that 6 or 7  vials of blood would be taken from the boys but no one would tell them why, Mr AB said he was simply assuming the hospital were testing their iron levels. The boys also later tested positive for hepatitis C.

Mr AB described how each twin was given different treatment for the HIV. One son was placed on AZT and the other on DDI. It then came to light the son who was placed on DDI was involved in trial which he didn’t know about.

Mr AB heartbreakingly stated that the son who was on DDI subsequently was given a high dose of AZT which led to an overdose. By this point he had developed AIDS and stopped growing.

Mr AB’s son passed away in the early 1990s, Mr AB explained that two doctors asked him what the funeral plans were for Mr AB’s son before he had even passed away. Doctors requested a post-mortem was carried out but Mr AB said no. Six months after his son’s death it was a discovered a post mortem had been carried out against the family’s wishes and Mr AB discovered part of his son’s brain had been removed. His son had developed measles on his brain which led doctors to state that if they had known about it they could’ve done more.

Mr AB said his brother had lost his twin and his best friend.

Mr AC

The second witness of the day was Mr AC.

The Inquiry heard how Mr AC, a severe haemophiliac, was told that English factor products were safer than their Scottish equivalent. Mr AC was told in the late 1980s he had an infection known as hepatitis non-a non-b. Mr AC said medical professionals had little knowledge of what this meant at the time.

Mr AC described the psychological effects of the treatment. He said it made him feel socially isolated and left him with recurrent nightmares. Mr AC told the Inquiry that as a haemophiliac many people assumed he had AIDS. He faced stigma for a disease he did not have. Mr AC told the Inquiry that many friends vanished when it was discovered he had hepatitis and that the impact of the virus made it difficult for him to continue with his job.

Mrs AD

The final witness the Inquiry heard from on the final day of the Edinburgh hearings was Mrs AD.

Mrs AD discovered her husband had severe haemophilia shortly after they met. Mrs AD told the Inquiry that her husband received a letter from the Haemophilia Society in the mid 1980s which stated he should use precautions whilst having sexual intercourse. Mrs AD said by this point they had been married 20 years. Following the article her husband wanted himself, their son and Mrs AD to be tested. Mrs AD’s husband’s HIV test came back positive.

Mrs AD told the Inquiry of the terrible stigma her husband faced. On one occasion he gave a family friend a kiss and was told by another family member never to kiss that person again.

Mr AD passed away from pneumonia in the mid 1990s. The AIDS virus was omitted from his death certificate.

In the early 2000s Mrs AD read about haemophiliacs contracting hepatitis C in the 70s and 80s. She told the Inquiry how she had requested her husband’s records and it was found he had tested positive for hepatitis C the year he passed away. This information was never shared with Mrs AD’s late husband.

Sir Brian concluded that the final day of the Edinburgh hearings marked the second anniversary of the announcement that there would be a Public Inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.

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