A victim of the tainted blood scandal in Cornwall found out he had hepatitis C 40 years later

A Cornwall woman found out she had hepatitis C 40 years after being infected in what has become one of the biggest medical scandals in British history. Patricia Hopton she received a blood transfusion in 1978 – and then became a blood donor herself.

She says she thinks about people who have often been given infected blood. The 74-year-old from Falmouth received a transfusion after the birth of the younger of her two daughters.

Doctors told her she almost died during a particularly difficult labour, which led to her needing a full hysterectomy. “I ended up having to get 11 pints of blood,” she said. “I was put in intensive care on life support.”

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Thankful that her life had been saved by a blood transfusion, Ms Hopton decided to continue donating blood – not knowing that she had been infected with hepatitis C during her own blood transfusion. She told the PA news agency that she thinks about the people who could have received her blood donations “all the time.”

She said: “When I recovered from the birth of my daughter, I was so grateful that someone had given me blood that I went and donated blood twice. Of course it wasn’t checked at the time, so I unwittingly infected other people.”

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She suffered symptoms of fatigue and brain fog after becoming infected, but was initially dismissed by doctors as low iron. “Immediately I felt very, very tired, I went to my own doctor and he said, ‘You need iron, that’s all you need, you’ve lost a lot of blood,'” she said.