With the news that thousands of parents and children of the victims of the blood scandal are not receiving any interim government payments, we are investigating some of the cases.
Tony Farrugia, age 50
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 family members still waiting for compensation.
“This announcement is another slap in the face because while they recognize some families, they don’t recognize others who have suffered the same fate. This is the cheapest option. There are at least 2,000 families who are completely excluded – the government just gagged us. The message to children and parents is that we don’t matter.”
Farrugia, who now lives in St. Neots, was taken in as a child and separated from his brothers when his father suffered from HIV-related dementia before his death. “My family has been destroyed by this. I didn’t see my twin brother again until I was 18, I didn’t see my other three brothers until 2010. It’s almost like we were watered down as a family, so we couldn’t speak out.”
In March, a review by Sir Robert Francis advised the government to put in place a full compensation framework for victims and their families. Farrugia said: “It is time for the government to fully implement that report. If we do not follow the full recommendations, we will deny justice to the victims.”
Emma frame, 49″
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 she added: “The government is trying to make this look good, but none of it is good. All those involved must be included in the scheme. It’s not about the money. I’m fighting for someone who admits that my father should still be here.
“I was 11 when I was told my father had a disease that no one wanted to talk about, when pamphlets went through the doors telling us how awful it would be. It was horrible. I have suffered from mental health problems all my life. And it affects generations – my son Charlie is angry that he can only see his grandfather in pictures.”
She added: “The government must admit that this was preventable and compensate people for lives they stole from them.”
Rosemary Calder, 74
Rosemary Calder, from Northamptonshire, fears she will never receive compensation for the death of her son Nicholas in 1999 after he was infected with HIV.
Calder, who runs a support group for parents left behind after the scandal, said: “I’d like to think we get compensation, but none of us are getting any younger.
“There’s a lot of anxiety and stress in parents who are just constantly overlooked. I’ve missed Nicky being a part of my life. I’ve missed his love and companionship. That can’t buy money. But paying compensation is the only way the government can show any remorse.”
She said Nicholas’s death had a “huge impact” on her family. It led to the breakdown of her marriage as her other son continues to receive therapy for the survivor’s guilt and her daughter can’t talk about Nicholas without crying.
Jason Evans, 32
Jason Evans, whose father, Jonathan, died in 1993 after being given an untreated blood product known as Factor VIII, is the co-founder of the Factor 8 campaign group. He is also the lead plaintiff in a Supreme Court seeking damages. has been suspended until the conclusion of the investigation.
He said: “Many of us are concerned that the government is dragging its feet on a more comprehensive compensation scheme. Some welcome the money, but others are frankly ashamed of it. It creates division that will only get worse if half of the bereaved don’t get help.”
Figures Evans obtained in a freedom of information request showed that of the 1,243 haemophiliacs who contracted HIV in England as a result of the scandal, only 229 survivors are currently receiving support. They show that 228 relatives are supported, but 798 families of those who died of HIV through infected blood have not received support.