“I lost both my brothers through it and I want to still be here, I want to see justice, I want to see it to the end,” says Christopher Marsh of the contaminated blood scandal.

Marsh, 49, and his two brothers, Gary and Kelvin, were all infected in 1981 through imported blood products used to treat people with haemophilia. Last year he was told his hepatitis C had become chronic and, with his brothers having long since died as a result of being infected, he is determined to see the end of the infected blood inquiry, which will publish its final report on 20 May, and the official response.

“My mind is all over the place,” he says. “Every waking hour all I think about is the inquiry, whether we’re going to get the right news and whether they’re going to do the right thing and when.

“It’s all coming back because of the inquiry. It doesn’t half bring back a lot of deep buried memories and thoughts. I’ve always said I miss my brothers every day but this makes me miss them even more because I know, if they were alive, they’d be fighting and campaigning, they weren’t ones to just stand by and let things happen.”

Christopher, Gary and Kelvin Marsh (left-right) all received contaminated blood in 1981.

While Marsh was infected at six years old with hepatitis C – although he would only find out 10 years later – his brothers were also infected with HIV. Gary died from Aids, at the age of 30, in 1992 and Kelvin died in 2000, at 35, after his body rejected a liver transplant. “I remember my last visit,” said Marsh. “When I saw him he had jaundice, obviously where his liver had shut down and I spent the whole time holding his hand with my eyes shut, crying my heart out. I couldn’t bear to look at him because of how ill he looked. We were really close.”

Their grief-stricken mother died the same year as Kelvin. Marsh, who lives in Ramsgate, Kent, said that when he was told of his own diagnosis, at 16 years old, the doctor played it down, telling him: “You’ve got nothing to worry about.” It was only later that he learned it could be fatal and was transmittable, which “cast a shadow over my life”, he said.

He explained: “I’ve never had kids of my own, I’ve got step-kids because I’m scared to pass it on to anyone and I get close to people but I’m scared to get too close. I always thought I was going to die when I’m in my 30s because that’s how old my brothers were, I didn’t think I’d live to be as old as I am.”

He said when he was young there was stigma surrounding his brothers’ HIV due to ignorance about the virus and the contaminated blood scandal. Marsh said he “went off the rails a little bit” as he struggled to cope with his brothers’ illness and still fights depression daily.

“I just can’t believe it,” he said. “You put your trust in them [the authorities] and you think they’ve got your best care at heart. But for them to know [of the risk of contaminated blood] and still give it to us, I don’t know, it just seems like someone needs to be held accountable. I know the Post Office [miscarriage of justice scandal] was really bad but it’s only a speck of what happened to us.”

Marsh, whose father died last year, said he hoped the inquiry report would bring him some peace of mind, but added: “I still don’t think it will bring closure but it will give answers.

“It just devastated our family. My mum, I don’t think really got over grieving for Kelvin when she passed away. My dad had to live with the knowledge that my brothers died through infected blood and his wife passed away the same year and he never saw the justice that we’re all fighting for. So that’s why I want to still be here, so I can see it for our family.”



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