‘My family was destroyed’: Relatives of blood scandal victims get nothing |  contaminated blood scandal

‘My family was destroyed’: Relatives of blood scandal victims get nothing | contaminated blood scandal

‘My family was destroyed’: Relatives of blood scandal victims get nothing |  contaminated blood scandal

With the news that thousands of parents and children of the victims of the blood scandal receive nothing in payments from the interim government, we examine some of the cases.

Tony Farrugia, 50

Barry Farrugia, who died in 1986 after contracting HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood products.
Barry Farrugia died in 1986 after contracting HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood products.

Tony Farrugia, whose father, Barry, died of HIV and hepatitis C in 1986 after being treated for hemophilia with contaminated blood products, is one of thousands of relatives still awaiting compensation.

“This announcement is another slap in the face because, although they are recognizing some families, they are not recognizing others who have suffered the same fate. This is the cheapest option. There are at least 2,000 families that are completely excluded, the government has just left us blank. The message to children and parents is that we don’t matter.”

Farrugia, who now lives in St Neots, was placed in care as a child and separated from his siblings when his father suffered from HIV-related dementia before his death. “My family was destroyed by this. I didn’t see my twin brother again until I turned 18, I didn’t see my other three brothers until 2010. It’s almost like we were diluted as a family so we couldn’t talk.”

In March, a review by Sir Robert Francis recommended that the government put in place a comprehensive compensation framework for victims and their families. Farrugia said: “It is time for the government to fully implement that report. Not acting on the full recommendations is denying justice to the victims.”

Mark Emma, ​​49

Emma Frame and her father Jeffrey, who died in 1991 from HIV and hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood products.
Emma Frame and her father, Jeffrey, who died in 1991 of HIV and hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood products.

Emma Frame, from Newcastle, was 18 when she lost her father, Jeffrey, to HIV and Hepatitis C. She said: “It is vital that interim payments are made as soon as possible to those infected who are still suffering.”

But he added: “The government is trying to make this look good, but none of it is good. All those affected must be included in the scheme. It’s not about money. I’m fighting for someone to admit that my dad should still be here.

“I was 11 years old when they told me that my dad had a disease that no one wanted to talk about, when flyers were going out the doors telling us how terrible it was going to be. It was horrible. I have suffered with mental health issues all my life. And it affects generations: my son Charlie is angry that he can only see his grandfather in photographs.”

He added: “The government must admit that this could have been prevented and compensate people for the lives that have been stolen from them.”

Rosemary Calder, 74

Rosemary Calder and her son Nicholas, who died of HIV in 1999 after being treated with contaminated blood products
Rosemary Calder and her son Nicholas, who died of HIV in 1999 after being treated with contaminated blood products.

Rosemary Calder, from Northamptonshire, is worried she may never see compensation for the death of her son Nicholas in 1999 after he was infected with HIV.

Calder, who runs a support group for parents grieving the scandal, said: “I’d like to think we’ll get compensation, but none of us are getting any younger.

“There is a lot of anxiety and stress among parents who are constantly being overlooked. I’ve missed out on having Nicky be a part of my life. I have missed his love and companionship. No money can buy that. But paying compensation is the only way the government can show any kind of contrition.”

She said Nicholas’s death had a “massive impact” on her family. She led to the breakdown of her marriage, while her other son is still receiving survivor’s guilt counseling and her daughter cannot talk about Nicholas without crying.

Jason Evans, 32

Jason Evans, whose father died after receiving contaminated blood
Jason Evans, whose father died after receiving contaminated blood.

Jason Evans, whose father, Jonathan, died in 1993 after receiving an untreated blood product known as Factor VIII, is the co-founder of the campaign group Factor 8. He is also the lead plaintiff in a court case seeking compensation, which is on hold until the conclusion of the investigation.

He said: “Many of us are afraid that the government is dragging its feet on a more extensive compensation scheme. Some welcome the money, but others are downright embarrassed by it. It’s creating a divide that will only get worse if half of grieving families don’t get help.”

Figures obtained by Evans in a freedom of information request showed that of the 1,243 hemophiliacs who contracted HIV in England as a result of the scandal, only 229 survivors currently receive support. They show that 228 bereaved couples are being supported, but 798 families of those who died of HIV through tainted blood have received no support.

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