A woman whose parents died of HIV eight days apart has pledged to continue her campaign until all those affected by the infected blood scandal have been compensated.
Lauren Palmer was just nine years old when she was orphaned after her parents, Stephen and Barbara Palmer, died of HIV and Hepatitis C in August 1993.
Mr. Palmer was a severe hemophiliac and received the Factor VIII blood clotting product around 1979, unaware that he was contaminated.
He later tested positive for HIV and subsequently infected his wife after rejecting medical advice to wear a condom during sex.
Ms Palmer said the government’s announcement on Wednesday of interim compensation for tainted blood survivors and their partners was “a step forward”, but said many other families were being left out of payments.
The fiasco, which resulted in around 2,400 deaths of HIV and hepatitis C patients from tainted blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, has been called the worst treatment disaster in NHS history, with new diagnosed cases of HIV and hepatitis. decades later.
Ms Palmer, a make-up artist who is currently studying for a forensic science degree in Bristol, said: ‘It was all so preventable and then people went to great lengths to cover up the problem and not tell patients what no it was serious.
“From the start, everything was wrong.
“I don’t feel anger (over the scandal), as such, because I don’t want it to eat away at me.
“It’s more about getting that recognition that everyone deserves.
“I’m doing this because it’s a duty. I don’t want them to get away with it.
“It took a long time to get to this stage. This (compensation) is a step in the right direction.
“There are still a lot of bereaved families excluded, so we still have work to do until those families are included.
“It’s a question of recognition.
“It’s just the enormity of it (the contamination), so many hundreds of people affected then and still today.
“I just want to do this and help get justice for everyone, not just me.”
Ms Palmer, 39, said the death of her parents “was devastating”, as she was later separated from her half-brothers and sent to live with another family, enduring a miserable childhood.
“It didn’t seem real at the time,” she said.
“I think when you’re that age you don’t understand or understand what’s going on.
“It only hit me a few years later.
“Everything in my life has changed so much that the upheaval has been terrible.
“I remember thinking that nothing would ever be the same.
“It was devastating.
“Factor VIII was supposed to prolong my father’s life, not take him and my mother prematurely.”
Kate Burt, chief executive of the Hemophilia Society, echoed Ms Palmer’s calls for compensation for all who have suffered, saying the ‘majority’ of those bereaved are currently left with nothing.
Ms Burt said: ‘Finally, after nearly five decades, the government has accepted that it must compensate those infected as a result of the tainted blood scandal.
“This is an important development.
“However, the majority of those bereaved, including parents and children of those who have died, will receive nothing.
“Steps must be taken now to put in place a viable scheme that can provide full compensation quickly and fairly to all those who have suffered devastating losses from this NHS treatment disaster.”