Thursday 6 October 2022 05:16 PM Heartbroken mothers whose sons died from HIV tell infected blood scandal ... trends now
Mothers of children who died during the infected blood scandal have spoken of a 'black cloud' which ruined their lives, an inquiry has heard.
Thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.
Parents of children who died after being treated by the products told the Infected Blood Inquiry in London 'absolute trust' was given to doctors with 'the most precious things' they had.
The UK was struggling to keep up with demand for treatments tackling the blood-clotting condition haemophilia and other bleeding disorders, and began importing infected products from overseas.
About 2,400 people died in what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
Brenda Haddock, 73, from Birmingham lost her son Andrew aged 24 after he became infected with HIV during the contaminated blood scandal. She was among the mothers giving evidence at the inquiry in London on Thursday
On Thursday, the inquiry heard from Linda Woolliscroft, 75, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, whose son Michael died in 1995, a week before his 26th birthday, having been diagnosed with haemophilia aged two.
Ms Woolliscroft tearfully told the inquiry: 'He loved the sunshine and he hated the rain, and yet just before he passed away it was raining and he said to me 'would you take me to see the rain?'
'This is what upsets me, because he knew he wasn't going to see it again.'
Aged 13, while a patient at Birmingham Children's Hospital, Michael was treated with clotting agent Factor VIII, despite doctors telling them some children were having reactions to it.
Having learned about HIV during a meeting with other parents and boys treated with products at the hospital in 1984, Ms Woolliscroft took Michael to see medical professionals, but was reassured all was fine.
Michael was told he had HIV after turning 17, despite his positive test taking place years earlier, the inquiry heard.
Ms Woolliscroft said: 'It was done in a cold way, no emotion, like it was being read off a page. No feeling about it.'
Linda Woolliscroft, 75, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, whose son Michael died in 1995, a week before his 26th birthday was also at Thursday's inquiry hearing
Elisabeth Buggins son Richard told of feeling 'guilt' after her son contracted HIV and died, aged eight
Speaking about the doctors, she went on: 'Your life is in their hands and you believe what they say and you've got to trust in them. You've got no choice.
'Then it makes you think, after, should you trust doctors?'
The inquiry also heard from Brenda Haddock, 73, from Birmingham, West Midlands, whose son Andrew was diagnosed with haemophilia at six months old, and who died in 1996 aged 24 after becoming infected.
From around 11, while a patient at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Andrew was treated with clotting agent Factor VIII, despite doctors telling them some children were having reactions to it.
Ms Haddock was told she had 'nothing to worry about', the inquiry heard - but Andrew contracted HIV as a result of his treatment.
She said: 'In those days we all believed doctors, we put our faith in doctors, we had a child with an ongoing account, we followed what the doctors said, we blindly carried on giving them the treatment.
'But I wonder, afterwards, why couldn’t they just temporarily stop the Factor VIII treatment while they investigated exactly what was going on, and give us some more information?
'Why did we have to sort of blindly carry on?'
Jason Evans, who lost his father to the infected blood scandal, has slammed the Government after he learned about the latest compensation announcement from a press release
Pictured: Jason Evans as a young boy with father Jonathan who died in 1993 after being given HIV-infected products. Jason has said children of victims should be included in compensation
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She went on: 'There’s the guilt of having some home treatment and me giving Andrew the Factor VIII at home.
'Did I administer the dose that infected him? It’s quite possible, so as well as the guilt of being the carrier that gave him haemophilia in the first place, there’s the guilt of could I have been the one that administered the dose?'
During a meeting at the hospital, Ms Haddock was advised to continue administering the treatment to her son despite concerns over it.
She then discovered that Andrew was HIV positive after seeing his medical records during a later hospital visit.
Andrew had already been told by his doctor about the diagnosis when he was 12 years old, without Ms Haddock present, she later found out.
His behaviour changed, and he became 'depressed', lost interest in school and would hang around in the streets during the day.
Later in his teenage years he became 'very withdrawn' and would not mix with people or make close friends, acting aggressively around the house.
Michelle Tolley was infected with hepatitis C when she received blood transfusions after the birth of her child in 1987 but did not find out until 2015. She says while compensation for survivors is positive, she said the 'next step' was to include families of those who lost their lives
Bob Threakall's wife campaigned for years for justice after her husband died aged 47 in 1991 after contracting HIV from contaminated blood
Lauren Palmer was orphaned in 1993 when her mother Barbara (pictured together) and father died with HIV, eight days apart
He would also have hallucinations.
Ms Haddock tearfully told the inquiry: 'You’ll never get over what we’ve been through, and we could all probably say we’re a different person to what we would have been.
'I think I’ve sort of lived my life differently since Andrew died, I’ve sort of compartmentalised it and I’ve got to get on with things because I was always frightened that if I thought about it too much the floodgates would open and I’d never shut them.'
Lauren Palmer, 39, lost both her parents to the contaminated blood scandal when she was nine
A woman whose parents died with HIV eight days apart has vowed to continue campaigning until all those affected by the infected blood scandal have been compensated.
Lauren Palmer was just nine when she was orphaned after her parents, Stephen and