No compensation for Dagenham contamination family
- Credit: Archant
The family of three brothers who died horrific deaths after being infected with viruses by the NHS have spoken of their anger that they will not receive a penny in compensation.
The Farrugia family was torn apart when brothers Barry, Victor and David were infected with HIV or hepatitis C from contaminated blood products used to treat the blood clotting disorder haemophilia in the 1980s. They all died.
Gas technician Barry Farrugia, of Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham, was just 37 when he succumbed to Aids in 1986.
He had encountered huge prejudice and suffered a mental breakdown before his death.
But the agony did not end there as three of his five sons were taken into care.
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Barry’s son Tony, now 44, was placed into a children’s home and separated from his twin brother and his other siblings for years.
After learning the truth about his father and uncles’ deaths seven years ago, Tony has campaigned for justice and compensation.
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But the family’s hopes were shattered last week as the government announced a long-awaited consultation on payouts for tainted blood victims will not include the children of those who have died.
“This new system will not give our family anything, not a penny,” said Tony.
“We’ve never received any money as dad died before the trusts were set up.
“I was put into a children’s home when I was 13 years old and I just want the government to recognise what was done to us. I had my childhood taken away from me.”
The Farrugia brothers were among thousands infected when blood products manufactured commercially and without safety checks were used by the NHS.
It has been described as the 15th largest peacetime disaster in British history.
The government this week announced a further £100 million to help those affected and the Department for Health insists more people will be eligible for payments under the new proposals, which are subject to consultation.
But many victims say they will be worse off.
CASE STUDY: ‘We’ve been denied money for Brenda’s headstone’
Grandmother Brenda Buzer lost her life before she was able to see through her fight for compensation.
The 81-year-old, of Kingsley Close, Dagenham, was infected with hepatitis C by an NHS blood transfusion following a miscarriage in the 1960s.
The virus laid waste to her liver over decades and Brenda died in August last year without receiving a payout for her suffering.
Her husband, Stan, vowed to continue the fight and hoped to use the money to pay for Brenda’s headstone.
But under government plans released for consultation last week the Buzer family are not eligible for compensation.
“I’m absolutely disgusted with the whole business,” said Stan. “The last two years were horrendous for her because she suffered so much.
“We still have Brenda’s ashes and we want the money to buy a headstone. I feel so fed up with the government side-stepping promises.”