Died 31st October, 1985 aged 35
A Wife’s Story
The sister said that it would be preferable if Alan could be transferred off the ward for the safety of other patients.
I lost my husband, Alan Molyneux, just after his 35th birthday on 31st October 1985. He was a severe haemophiliac and contracted the Aids virus due to contaminated blood imported from America by the British Government. I was widowed at the young age of 32 years, and left alone to bring up two daughters aged 11 and 9 years respectively. I nursed Alan prior to his death, both at home and in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. In 1984 his health started to deteriorate, and he underwent surgery in the Royal. From then on his health began to rapidly deteriorate due the contaminated blood transfusions and treatment of Factor Vlll. For almost two years I practically lived at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, on and off. I had no choice but to split my two daughters up and send them to live with separate relatives so that I could look after Alan.
In the early days Alan was on a mixed ward and was suddenly moved to a side room on his own. When questioned about his sudden move, I was informed that they suspected he had contracted a virus and asked me to wear protective clothing. The symptoms Alan started to display were: rapid loss of weight, vomiting and becoming delirious. When I questioned Doctor McVery, the Consultant at the time, he informed me that it was just a virus and they were testing him for salmonella and the side effects of the drugs were causing him to become delirious. At this point of time, Dr McVery requested that I also be tested for salmonella. Tests were carried out on me on three occasions.
I read a couple of articles in the national newspapers about the symptoms of the Aids virus and it appeared that Alan had all these symptoms. He was sent home from hospital for a short period, with a District Nurse in attendance. The nurse only attended on two occasions and then refused to visit the house and asked me: had the hospital not informed me of what Alan had got? With this, I was left to care for Alan; changing his clothing and bedding due to loss of body fluids. I realised Alan was deteriorating and called for an ambulance, and he was again taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital where he remained in isolation in a private room. All visitors were made to wear protective clothing.
At this stage I made an appointment to see Dr McVery and begged him to tell me if Alan had Aids. He informed me that he had not got Aids, and that there were lots of different viruses, and to desist from telling him his job, and stop being neurotic, to go home and get it out of my mind. I decided to stay with Alan most of the day and night, due to the staff not wanting to go into the room to feed him and give him drinks. On occasions I was not present, drink and food was left on a trolley outside his room and Alan was left unchanged, lying in a dirty bed in his own body fluids.
One evening Alan had deteriorated and I asked a Ward Sister if Alan had got Aids, because I had seen Doctor Pinching from St Mary’s Hospital in London, on television, describing the symptoms of Aids. The sister said that it would be preferable if Alan could be transferred off the ward for the safety of other patients. A short time later a junior doctor approached me to inform me that Alan had contracted Aids and that he could not understand why I had not been told earlier. That evening my life had been turned upside-down, and my brother-in-law and I drove down to London to see Dr Pinching to see if could help Alan and transfer him, but unfortunately he was attending an Aids conference in Brussels. I spoke to Dr Pinching by telephone and he confirmed that Alan’s symptoms were conclusive of Aids. Later, Dr Pinching contacted Dr McVery regarding this matter and I was shunned by Dr McVery for going to London.
All our lives have been shattered by Alan’s tragic death. Had I known the full circumstances and truth of Alan’s illness and the cause I feel I would have been able to cope and plan our lives a lot better. By keeping this knowledge of Aids under wraps it put me and my family at an unnecessary high risk.
I feel the way we have been treated by the British Government is gross negligence and betrayal. I have had to work hard all my life to put my two girls through their education, and I now have a grandson who is also a severe haemophiliac, bringing all the memories flooding back, hoping that history never repeats itself.
A Daughter’s Story
Dad’s death, even today, evokes feelings of anger and sorrow, knowing that he died through pure negligence on behalf of the Government.
I was aged nine when I lost my father (Alan Molyneux) through contaminated blood products. During my childhood I spent much of my time visiting my Dad in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. When Dad’s health deteriorated due to the HIV attacking his immune system, my mum decided that it was best I didn’t see Dad in the condition he was in. Mum considered my young age and how I may not understand what was happening to Dad. I was sent to stay at my Auntie’s and I returned to a broken family when Dad died on 31st October, 1985, at the age of 35. Mum then had to cope with not only the loss of my Dad (her husband), but had to support two children, alone, at the age of 32.
As any young girl, I always wanted to have and do the things my friends were doing; not understanding that they had two parents to financially support them, compared to my one. Mum struggled, and it is only now, at the age of 33, that I myself can understand how hard it was. I am also now a single parent and have a four year old son with severe haemophilia.
Dad always wanted the best for us, including education. Mum struggled to financially support me through both of my degrees. As in many families today children are financially dependent on their parents for longer and I now, at the age of 33, often ask for financial help from Mum. Although Mum tried hard, working away and for long hours, I had to fall back on student loans.
I did achieve both Dad’s goal and my own, becoming an art teacher. However, this career has had to be placed on hold. My son, Oliver, is now 4 and has severe haemophilia and I have to inject him three times a week with Factor Vlll. I have had to become my son’s carer and have to be on hand to treat him as required. It has been hard trusting the NHS and I sometimes feel uneasy injecting my son with Factor Vlll after losing my Dad through contaminated blood.
Dad’s death even today, evokes feelings of anger and sorrow, knowing that he died through pure negligence on behalf of the Government. I try not to research the contaminated blood issue, as I do not want to be consumed by anger, and I also have to support and reassure my own son.
My family have suffered so much financial and emotional stress, and I fully support my Mum’s and other victims’ fight to gain answers and deserved compensation.