A father who was infected with Hepatitis C as a toddler after being given tainted blood medication broke down in tears today as he told the inquiry into the scandal of the 'shame he felt' carrying the disease.
Matthew James Johnson told the ongoing Blood Inquiry in London his life had been 'completely dismantled' over something that could have been stopped and that the didn't want anyone to go through the 'horror's his family had been through.
The 38-year-old also revealed that he has been left at risk of contracting a neurological disease, and tearfully spoke of his fear that his own young son could see him 'waste away'.
Matthew was diagnosed with Haemophila B when he was just one, after his parents had taken him to the hospital after he fell out of his cot, his front two teeth coming through his top lip
Matthew was diagnosed with Haemophila B when he was just one, after his parents had taken him to the hospital after he fell out of his cot, his front two teeth coming through his top lip.
The condition meant that Matthew's blood did not clot properly and he was treated on a regular basis with factor products, before being treated as a 'guinea pig' with different medications.
Today Matthew says the treatment led him to having contracted Hepatitis C and further problems which were only addressed two years ago, when the Haemophilia society released a statement on their website saying there had been two sporadic cases of CJD (a rare blood disease) and Haemophilia.
Holding back the tears, he said: 'That sent me over the edge. Because at that point I had a little boy who was my life and I didn't want him to see his Dad waste away'.
He said that everyday he lives with the fear that he may hay CDJ and that he is scared of 'falling of balance'.
'You think it's starting and it's horrible. I am anti depressant dependent, I can't come off them and its had a huge impact on my life.
A letter which was sent out to Matthew stated that there was no information available for products used on patients with Haemophilia
During the inquiry, Matthew highlighted how he felt guilt for his parents and family
'Also for my parents, it's not been easy'.
The inquiry is chaired by former High Court judge Sir Brian Langstaff who has promised to put people at the heart of the probe.
During the inquiry, Matthew highlighted how he felt guilt for his parents and family.
'I have an amazing set of parents but what I have seen it do to them. I feel guilt – they have been beset by their own problems.
'I can't imagine what my parents went through. The CJD thing was very difficult for me and when the society posted it on their site it wasn't the most thought out thing to do.'
Matthew was diagnosed with Hep C at a young age and said that growing up with the condition, you are told my medical professionals that 'it's not a big deal'.
Medical records were presented to the inquiry showing the different treatment Matthew had
The letter above, which confirms that Matthew did have Hep C, and that they had found it in a blood sample
'I thought why me? But since then I have lost people close to our family that have been infected I feel why am I still deserving to be here?'
He said that many people who are aware of his condition often perceive that he is a drug user.
'Back twenty/ thirty years ago people weren't so forgiving.
'The evidence I am giving is true – it's all been really painful and I want to thank my family for everything they have done for me.
In October 2004 it was revealed that Matthew had been exposed to two batches of the contaminated material
'I hope some good comes of this and I hope the people who are accountable are held to account. I don't want another to die. We are a rich nation, people should not be put behind