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Client story: Pe Rae

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 14 May 2024

Pe Rae’s late husband, Paul Le Bourn, received a blood transfusion infected with Hepatitis C (HCV) after he suffered a severe leg fracture in a motorcycle crash in 1982. Paul was taken to hospital where he remained in a coma for several weeks.

Following his discharge from hospital, Paul was an outpatient for several months and received several blood transfusions. Eventually, in 1983 Paul’s leg had to be amputated.

In the late 1990s, during hospital investigations into a lung problem it was discovered that Paul was infected with HCV. His GP was informed but Paul was not told for over a year, and only found out by accident.

As a result of his infection with HCV, Paul’s health deteriorated and even a small illness would result in a hospital stay, as his liver was compromised and less able to help his body fight toxins.

Most seriously, he was also not able to receive a necessary lung transplant. Paul's lung condition worsened, requiring him to need oxygen therapy during the day and the use of a ventilator at night.

Paul received two six-month courses of interferon and ribavirin treatment during the 2000s, but these were unsuccessful and he was found to still be HCV positive. The treatments also had major and far-reaching effects on his physical and mental health from which he never fully recovered.

The disease and treatment had a massive impact on Paul’s personal and family life; he went from being an active husband and father to requiring constant care and becoming distanced from his friends and family.  

At the start of 2013, Paul was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. His health declined rapidly over the following months before his death from HCV related liver failure six months later.


Paul Le Bourn
Paul Le Bourn


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