1. ITV Report

Contaminated blood scandal ‘destroyed my life’

A survivor of the contaminated blood scandal talks to UTV about contracting Hep C. Credit: UTV

One of the survivors of the contaminated blood scandal, who will give evidence when an inquiry opens in Belfast on Tuesday, has told UTV his life has been destroyed.

It is thought around 5,000 people died after receiving contaminated blood across the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, while many more were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C.

It has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Nigel Hamilton – who is a haemophiliac, meaning he has a genetic disorder that makes it harder for the body to form blood clots needed to stop bleeding – received contaminated blood in 1976.

A routine eye operation basically led to him developing Hepatitis C, although he was not even told about it until 1990.

That led to serious liver problems, and he had to undergo a transplant last year to save his life.

“Everything went down the drain,” Mr Hamilton said.

“I lost my family, I lost several career opportunities – my career is gone.”

Many of those affected have also had to live with conditions that are still surrounded by stigma.

For survivors and victims of the contamination scandal, the inquiry – to be held over four days at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, will mark an important and harrowing step in their journey for justice.