Wife of tainted blood victim in payout plea for victims after her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband spends ‘last Christmas’ waiting for justice
The wife of a man infected in the tainted blood scandal has called for ‘urgent’ compensation for victims after her husband spent his ‘last Natale’ still waiting for justice.
Wendy Stubbs said it is already too late for the ‘love of her life’ Stephen, 63, who is rapidly deteriorating as a result of contracting hepatitis C from blood products in the 1980s.
The grandfather has an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease caused by his infection and is living out his days in a care home unable to talk, feed or dress himself, or recognise his loved ones.
Mrs Stubbs, 61, said tearfully: ‘For Stephen it is already too late, he hasn’t got a clue what is going on. Christmas is a happy time for families but he doesn’t even know who I am. There were thousands infected and affected and the very few that are left now are still suffering like Stephen but there is still no justice.
Wendy Stubbs said it is already too late for the ‘love of her life’ Stephen, 63, who is rapidly deteriorating as a result of contracting hepatitis C from blood products in the 1980s
‘The Government needs to do something and urgently before they’ve all been wiped out.’
Di 30,000 Britons – many haemophiliacs like Mr Stubbs – contracted HIV and/or hepatitis C in the 1970s and 1980s after being treated by the NHS with cheap, tainted US blood products. Alcuni 3,000 have already died in what has been described as the ‘worst treatment disaster in NHS history’.
Because the Government never admitted liability, victims never received compensation. Instead they were given meagre handouts from inadequate support schemes.
A marzo, the then Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt said an independent reviewer would examine the scope of compensation before the Infected Blood Inquiry ends next autumn.
But Mrs Stubbs, a retired nurse from Eccleshill, Bradford, said that it will be too late for victims like her husband – whom she fears won’t live to see another Christmas.
‘Stephen is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s where you start losing your functions,' lei disse. ‘He’s deteriorating rapidly.’
The couple had high hopes for their retirement and planned to go on cruises, weekends away and enjoy their nine grandchildren. ‘We had worked very hard but it has been snatched away from us,' lei disse. ‘I’m losing him bit by bit when we should be enjoying our retirement.’
A marzo, the then Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt said an independent reviewer would examine the scope of compensation before the Infected Blood Inquiry ends next autumn
Mrs Stubbs said that had justice not been delayed for the past 40 anni, victims such as her husband could have been more comfortable in the time they had left.
He had been holding out for compensation not only for himself but to secure her future.
'Egli ha detto, “It’s cruel, here I am in a life-limiting disease that was given to me through no fault of my own,”’ she added.
Mr Stubbs was infected when he received clotting product Factor VIII at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in the 1980s. Treatments failed to fend off the infection and by 2016 he had started showing signs of confusion and memory loss.
‘The doctors stated that it was probable and likely that Stephen’s form of aggressive Alzheimer’s was a result of the hepatitis infection,’ Mrs Stubbs recalled.
Di 2019 he had deteriorated so much that he was forced to retire from his job as a technician sterilising surgical equipment. Mrs Stubbs had cared for him at home but his behaviour became unmanageable and in May last year he had to be moved into a care home.
‘‘It was horrible to see the change in this person who was always a very calm, composed and tidy man,' lei disse. ‘He was very loving but now he’s always got this terrified look on his face… It breaks my heart.’
Negli Stati Uniti, pharmaceutical companies paid millions of dollars to victims and their families, while victims in Ireland have received more than one billion euros (£846million) in compensation.
But in the UK it has taken four decades to get a meaningful public inquiry off the ground and to date, there has been no acceptance of responsibility, or proper apology or compensation. Kate Burt, chief executive of the Haemophilia Society, disse: ‘Time is running out for families affected to get the justice and compensation they deserve.’