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Blood transfusion

Client story - Carolyn Challis

Clients of Leigh Day who have been affected by the infected blood scandal have shared their stories in the lead up to the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry report.

Posted on 10 May 2024

On 1 September 1991 a screening programme testing blood donations for Hepatitis C (HCV) was rolled out nationally.

The current financial support scheme for those infected with HCV imposes a cut-off date for eligibility, meaning that applicants can only claim payments if they were infected via a blood transfusion before 1 September 1991. However, there are people who were infected when they received a blood transfusion after this date. Carolyn (Caz) Challis was infected with HCV between 1992 and 1993 after receiving three blood transfusions.

Caz initially received blood for pregnancy related anaemia ahead of a surgical biopsy - which led to her Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis - before receiving further transfusions to treat anaemia related to her chemotherapy treatment.

In 1993, Caz was informed that she had HCV. Caz’s infection with HCV has resulted in long running and debilitating health conditions including severe fatigue, fibromyalgia and depression which have greatly impacted her life. She has been unable to support her children and grandchildren as she would have wanted, and her health issues have affected her relationships and meant she has been unable to work.

Despite the toll on her life Caz has never been eligible for any ex-gratia payments from the financial support schemes. She has applied several times but has been refused on each occasion because of the cut-off date rule.

In response to her last application, she received a letter accepting her clinician's evidence that she was infected with HCV as a result of the transfusions in 1992 and 1993. However, due to the cut-off date rule she was not entitled to payments, with the appeal panel stating it ‘has no power to vary the 1 September 1991 date’. Caz continues to campaign on this issue and hopes that the final compensation scheme will recognise her and others who are in the same position.

You can read Caz's full witness statement here.


Carolyn Challis
Carolyn Challis


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