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Blood transfusion

Client story: Simone (anonymous)

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

One client, who we have called Simone, was infected with Hepatitis C (HCV) via a transfusion as a young adult, resulting in continuous poor health and restricting his ability to seeing his family in the US.

In around 1990, when Simone was 18, he received regular transfusions for treatment of varices growing in his oesophagus as a result of portal vein thrombosis. The varices caused him to vomit large amounts of blood. Over the course of a two-year period, he received more than 200 units of blood via transfusion. He was not informed of any risks of infection.

After going through the ordeal of his portal vein thrombosis, Simone discovered in the mid 1990s that he had been infected with HCV.

Simone has been diagnosed with encephalopathy, – thought to be linked to the HCV diagnosis, – which causes brain fog and alters memory.  He has been stigmatised by people assuming his disease is linked to drug use.

Simone is from the US, but the huge financial burden that would accompany lengthy visits or a permanent return have greatly restricted his ability to visit and spend time with his family.

For nearly 30 years, since the age of 23, Simone has lived with the knowledge that his health could suddenly deteriorate. He was told when he was diagnosed that he should not have children as he would risk them being infected. The mental health impact from these restrictions and weights on his life are something he still struggles with today. 

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