I just want justice for my family – infected blood scandal victims speak out

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal and their loved ones have described the anguish caused by the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history.

Thousands of people were infected with HIV and hepatitis by contaminated blood between 1970 and 1991.

The chair of the inquiry has urged ministers to consider the “powerful” testimonies of people affected by the scandal.

“I urge those responsible for considering my recommendations to start there, listening to you and appreciating the depths of what you have experienced so that they, like me, can understand why compensation is overdue,” Sir Brain Langstaff said in a statement.

– One victim, who asked to remain anonymous, described how almost a whole family died after her mother had a contaminated blood transfusion.

The woman told the inquiry she was infected with HIV while her mother was pregnant with her.

Her sister died age five, then her younger sister died aged three. When she was eight her father also died, and then later her mother.

Only she and her brother are left.

“I just want justice for my family,” she said.

“I want someone to take responsibility for what happened.”

– Stuart Gregg was infected with HIV through blood products as a child.

He told the inquiry: “The physical effects have been tough and at times I have been close to death.

“I have suffered throughout my life as a result of this.

“The individuals, families and loved ones destroyed by this whole disaster have been irrevocably damaged by what happened.”

– The parents of a child who died after being infected with HIV as a baby described how the “guilt will never go away”.

Speaking about his son Colin who died aged seven, Colin Smith senior told the inquiry: “There’s no way a child should have to die the way he did.

“I still have trouble today – the fact that he’s in a grave on his own – and the guilt will never go away.”

– A mother who lost two sons told the inquiry: “It doesn’t matter how many years go by, you’re still asking: Why? Why? Why?

“It won’t bring them back. I just want them back so much, I just ache for them to come back.”

– One woman described how both of her parents died within eight days of each other after her father was infected with HIV.

Lauren Palmer was nine years old.

“I lost both my parents at nine years old at no fault of my own and subsequently my life has been awful.”

– Jason Evans was four years old when his father died from HIV. He told the inquiry: “It just marked every aspect of my life.

“It has blanketed my entire existence.”

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