Leeds & West Yorkshire

Infected Blood Inquiry: Hep C woman 'called paranoid' by doctor

Lesley McEvoy Image copyright PA
Image caption Lesley McEvoy spoke as a witness at the Infected Blood Inquiry, which is in Leeds until 21 June

A woman who contracted hepatitis C said she was called "paranoid" by a doctor after expressing concerns about blood transfusion safety.

Lesley McEvoy told the Infected Blood Inquiry she had a transfusion in 1985 when she had a haemorrhage following the birth of her first son.

After telling a West Yorkshire doctor she had heard warnings about HIV, he told her her fears were "groundless".

Miss McEvoy, 59, from Cheshire, was cleared of hepatitis C in 2010.

The inquiry, currently sitting in Leeds, is looking at why 4,800 people with haemophilia were infected with hepatitis C or HIV in the 1970s and 1980s.

The mother-of-two told the hearing she was given two litres of blood at Staincliffe Maternity Hospital in Dewsbury.

Miss McEvoy told the inquiry: "He said 'just take the blood, you're being paranoid, your fears are groundless, you're a silly woman' and things like that."

She added: "I know that 10.30am on the 26th November 1985 was when I was infected with hepatitis C."

The inquiry heard how decades later, in 2004, Miss McEvoy started to feel "extreme fatigue" and joint pains, but was told by a GP she could only be diagnosed with high-blood pressure.

In 2007, she heard an interview with The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick in which the entrepreneur, who died months later, revealed she had hepatitis C.

Image copyright SPL
Image caption The inquiry is looking into why 4,800 people with haemophilia were infected with hepatitis C or HIV

"I sat there and just thought, that's me, she's talking about me - she's talking about my symptoms," Miss McEvoy said.

She was told that she had not been tested for hepatitis C because there was no record of the 1985 blood transfusion.

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