‘Emotional’ start to inquiry into Factor VIII scandal

Chris James with his family.
Chris James with his family.

A widow whose husband was one of thousands affected by a contaminated blood product has said the first day of an inquiry into the scandal was full of ‘collective grief’.

Marjorie James’ husband Christopher, who lived in Oving, was infected with hepititus C after being treated with imported blood coagulant Factor VIII in the 1980s.

READ MORE: Infected blood product cost my husband his last years

She said she and her son and daughter attended the first inquiry hearing in Westminster on Monday, which began with a video commemoration to those who had died, after which attendees could place a message to loved ones at the front.

“The collective grief was so powerful and we were so emotional,” she said.

“In the afternoon the Chair, Sir Brian Langstaff, gave a very well thought out introduction mentioning that it was known in 1975 that this blood was contaminated. So many people including my husband, Chris, were infected in the 1980s.

“We are all just hoping for the truth to come out and the answers as to how this could have happened.

“As this is a public inquiry people will be forced to give evidence. It may take from two to five years and so we are in for a long haul.”