Couple hope blood inquiry will bring justice for 10-year-old son

A couple whose 10-year-old son died after contracting HIV through contaminated blood products hopes the Infected Blood Inquiry will bring them justice.

Denise and Colin Turton said their son Lee was diagnosed with severe haemophilia six months after his birth in 1981.

The couple, who travelled to London from Bristol for the inquiry on Tuesday, said that Lee was given Factor VIII protein from the age of one then diagnosed with HIV aged four.

After he died aged 10 in January 1992, the family said they discovered Lee had also contracted hepatitis C.

Lee Turton
(Family handout/PA)

Mrs Turton, 58, told the Press Association that they hope the inquiry will find out the truth about why patients were given contaminated blood and why it was covered up.

She added: “We hope to find the truth, get justice, find out who covered it up, why it was covered up, and prison would be nice for them.”

Mrs Turton said the family had been “stunned” when Lee was diagnosed with HIV.

She said they had repeatedly raised concerns that Factor VIII could be infected with HIV, but were told Lee’s treatment was not imported.

Mrs Turton added: “Then they called us in to say they had done a blood test we didn’t know about and he was HIV positive.”

The family, which had been living in Nailsea in Somerset at the time, said their son had changed when he realised he was ill.

Mrs Turton added: “He was a happy little boy, very bright and intelligent, but afterwards when he realised he was ill he changed.

“He was quite withdrawn, he knew there was a lot going on because he had a lot of problems with school.”

Mrs Turton said that once parents found out Lee had HIV their son was shunned at school, leaving him no friends and eventually the family moved away.

She added: “He had no friends, he didn’t get invited to things anymore.

“We knew he had no friends at school because of his infection, so we decided we would move to give him a childhood where no one knew what was wrong with him.”

But Lee’s condition started to deteriorate in 1988, the couple said.

Lee Turton
(Family handout/PA)

Mrs Turton added: “He lost his appetite, he lost weight, he was always ill – ulcers in his mouth.

“He just wasn’t a happy little boy anymore. He changed totally.”

She said they were angry and frustrated that they could not get to the truth about why their son was infected.

She added: “Especially angry because we cannot get to the truth. We really need the truth as to why it happened.

“We cannot move on any more, we don’t trust people – we have not trusted them from when he was four, after it happened.”

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