The terror of an infected blood victim who may have ‘killed the entire family’
After being turned “into potentially a vehicle that could cause death to an entire family,” a haemophiliac and advocate has expressed his “horror” at the possibility of unintentionally passing on hepatitis.
The Infected Blood Inquiry heard on Wednesday that Bruce Norval, who was 23 at the time, was infected with Hepatitis C after being treated with contaminated blood products for a bleeding issue.
The Scots-born former nursing student, now in his mid-50s, criticized the late-twentieth-century public health response, claiming that many medical practitioners treated Hepatitis B and C “as if it were a side-effect isolated to the patient.”
We’re not talking about saving my life or alleviating my suffering; we’re talking about turning me into a vehicle that may kill an entire family.
“We’re not talking about a side-effect here, we’re talking about a virus in a living being,” Mr Norval told the panel in London, citing medical study from the late 1970s.
“Someone who is unwittingly put back into society to have sex with the person they love, interact with their family, play football, and possibly cut themselves at work.
“One of the most terrifying thoughts I have as an individual is that I may have wounded someone I don’t know, that I may have unintentionally transmitted the infection on to someone else.
“Simple things like women swiping their father’s razors to shave their legs and armpits – if the razor has been used before, the chances of spreading Hep B or C are pretty high,” says my daughter.
“We’re not talking about saving my life or alleviating my agony; we’re talking about turning me into a vehicle capable of killing an entire family.
“The way this is being discussed makes it seem as if we lived in a bubble, but we didn’t.
“We went to school, college, had lovers, had trysts on occasion, and people went about their daily lives.”
Mr Norval, who previously resided in Edinburgh and Inverness, explained that he relocated to from a tiny town. (This is a brief piece.)