Infected Blood scandal: 'You watch your child just disappearing before your eyes'

Credit: ITV News

Denise Turton's story is so completely devastating, that the first time she told it to me I was lost for words.

Even though a camera was filming our interview, I couldn't think of what to say next.

Here is the short version.

In 1981, Denise and her husband Colin had a son called Lee. As a baby he was a haemophiliac and had to have treatment.

When he was two years old, Lee was given a blood product called 'Factor 8'. The batch Lee was treated with was infected with HIV.

Around the time he turned seven Lee started to get ill. He had trouble hearing, some days he couldn't see, others he had so many ulcers in his throat that he couldn't eat.

He had AIDS.

Denise said it was awful to watch: "You watch your child just disappearing before your eyes."

There was such a fear of AIDS in the 1980s that the family had to move to a different part of the country where they weren't known.

When Lee was eight years old he asked Denise what was going to happen to him, "He asked in the end. He asked: 'Am I going to die?'"

Denise was honest: "I did say 'I'm not sure,' but I did say 'most probably ... we don't know.'"

Lee died in January 1992 - he was ten.

The batch of blood used to treat Lee was infected with HIV.

You might think that the Turton family had a case for some kind of compensation, some recognition of their loss. But no, 30 years on, the Turtons have still not had a penny.

Last April Sir Brian Langstaff, the judge hearing the Infected Blood Inquiry, recommended that all those infected and affected be paid compensation without delay and without waiting for his final report.

He said this because so many infected people are dying.

It's thought they are dying at a rate of one every four days - that's 82 people since Sir Brian's recommendation.

The government has accepted the moral case for compensation but wants to wait for the full Inquiry Report in May before setting up a compensation scheme.

Those infected have at least had interim payments of £100,000 each. Those affected, like Denise Turton, have had nothing.

Lee is buried in Cornwall, but Denise has not been able to bring herself to visit her son's grave.

She says she won't go until Lee's death is recognised. She still doesn't know when that will be.

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