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26 Jul 19
Infected Blood Inquiry – Oral Hearing Cardiff – Week 1, Day 3

Monica and Tony Summers

The first witnesses on the third day in Cardiff were Monica and Tony Summers.

Monica and Tony were giving evidence regarding Paul Summers, the husband of Monica and son of Tony. Paul was a mild haemophiliac who began receiving Factor VIII treatment in 1979. Tony told the Inquiry how on a few occasions he questioned the new factor VIII treatment Paul was being given but was always told there was nothing to worry about. In 1986 Paul was told he was HIV positive.

The Inquiry were shown extracts from Paul’s medical records that demonstrated how in 1984 medical professionals were concerned he’d received blood from the same batch as someone who went onto develop AIDS. Monica stated in her evidence when Paul visited the Haemophilia Centre he would often be asked if he wanted condoms. Paul found this strange and he didn’t understand why they were being offered to him.

Monica told the Inquiry when Paul visited her in America in 1988 he revealed to her he had HIV. From that point, Monica described her life as being on “constant high alert”. Monica and Paul went onto adopt a young girl after unsuccessful IVF attempts. It was discovered in 1990 that Paul had cirrhosis of the liver.

In 2008 Paul’s health deteriorated and he was placed on the liver transplant waiting list. Paul died around a week after the transplant. In her evidence, Monica said the grief and loss had left her physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Tony summed up his evidence by telling the Inquiry “I think we’ve reached the end of the beginning and I think this is the beginning of the end and more than anything else I want to live long enough to see it”.

Mr AF

The second witness of the day was Mr AF. Mr AF described how he and his brother were severe haemophiliacs. The Inquiry heard that at the age of 11 Mr AF became jaundiced and was told he had hepatitis B. Mr AF’s wife then fell pregnant and was told by Professor Bloom to terminate the pregnancy. Mr AF said at the time he didn’t understand why they were being told this. Not long after this incident Mr AF was told he was HIV positive.

In his evidence Mr AF recalled the conversation between himself and Professor Bloom during which he was told he was HIV positive. Mr AF said the conversation was a short, cold matter of fact discussion.

Mr AF told the Inquiry that his brother passed away from hepatitis C complications in the early 1990s. A year after his brother passed away Mr AF was diagnosed with hepatitis C.  Concluding his evidence Mr AF described how everyone around him was either falling ill or dying.

Jane Jones

Jane Jones told the Inquiry that her Von Willebrands disease often meant she required blood products. Following a miscarriage in 1982 Jane was given Cyroprecipitate. 10 years later Jane tested positive for hepatitis C. The Inquiry heard Jane’s mother had tested positive for hepatitis C after also receiving contaminated blood products.

During her evidence Jane described the dreadful stigma she experienced when admitted to the hospital. An example of which were nurses wearing masks and food being left outside her hospital room.

In the 2000s Jane received treatment for her hepatitis C. The treatment was unsuccessful on four occasions. Jane stated that by the end of the third round of treatment she wanted to die.

Following a liver transplant in 2014 Jane cleared the hepatitis C virus. Jane said she was now able to go on trips with her children and grandchildren, something she was never able to do before. Jane thanked her partner, her “donor Angel” and Lynne Kelly at the end of her evidence.

Mrs AG

The final witness of the day was anonymous witness Mrs AG. Mrs AG told the Inquiry about her late father. Mrs AG’s father received a blood transfusion in 1972.

Mrs AG described to the Inquiry that before her father’s death a nurse said that she couldn’t say exactly what was happening with Mrs AG’s father. It was only until after her father’s death, Mrs AG was informed a post-mortem could not be carried out as the room her father had been staying in at the hospital needed to be fumigated for asbestosis and hepatitis.

Concluding her evidence, Mrs AG said that on her father’s death certificate his cause of death was leukaemia. Mrs AG stated she did not understand why the hepatitis C and asbestosis were not listed on the death certificate.

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