“I’m living with a death sentence”: Norfolk contaminated blood victim, 64, tells his tragic story

Bob Brennan has hepatitis C from a contaminated blood transfusion. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant

Bob Brennan has hepatitis C from a contaminated blood transfusion. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A victim of the contaminated blood scandal has described his remaining years as 'living with a death sentence'.

Bob Brennan, 64, from Mill Road in Thompson, near Watton, was told he had hepatitis C five years ago which has since developed into severe liver failure and cancer.

The formerly fit and healthy general manager learned he had contracted hepatitis C from a transfusion using contaminated blood for a damaged oesophagus at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, in 1988.

He is one of thousands of people across the UK infected with hepatitis C or HIV during the 1970s and 1980s from NHS blood products.

Mr Brennan, who worked as a general manager for Lings Motor Group until going on sick leave in December last year, said: 'The government should be held responsible for my death. I have accepted my fate but I know that if I go yellow, I have got six months to live. I am living with a death sentence hanging over me. My life is gone.'

The 64-year-old has received £70,000 from the Skipton Fund, set up in 2004 by the Department of Health to compensate victims of the scandal across Britain.

He is urging other victims to contact the fund to see if they are eligible.

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Mr Brennan, who is married with three children and four grandchildren, is now suffering with liver cancer.

He said doctors told him his cancer was caused by the hepatitis C and because of the 'aggressive' nature of the cancer he no longer qualifies for a liver transplant.

Health experts have said he could have as little six months to live or, if private treatment goes ahead in March, four years left.

Mr Brennan added: 'I previously had a healthy life and did a lot of sport. Now I cannot walk down the road, which makes me more upset than the disease itself. I'm tired.'

He said hepatitis C has had a 'massive' impact on his life and his children and wife are on edge because of his health problems.

For more information about claiming compensation for the contaminated blood scandal, visit www.skiptonfund.orgGovernment response to contaminated blood victims

The EDP has been fighting on behalf of the contaminated blood victims in this region.

At least 2,000 people have died after being infected with HIV and hepatitis C by blood products used by the NHS up until 1991, some sourced from risky donors such as prisoners and drug addicts.

Hepatitis C is known as the silent disease because it can lay dormant for years without someone knowing they have it.

In July 2016, former prime minister David Cameron said that £125m would be spent to help thousands of victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

The government set out plans in 2016 for a reformed system of support which will see every victim receive a regular annual payment for the first time.

In September 2016 prime minister Theresa May told the House of Commons she would consider setting up a Hillsborough-style independent panel to shed light on the NHS scandal.

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