Shropshire Star

'My brother went to college to be helped, but he ended up dying' – sister speaks as findings of contaminated blood inquiry are released

Former pupils of a boarding school where boys with haemophilia were infected with contaminated blood have said they were told to "carry on as normal" as their peers became sick.

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One of those boys was Mark Payton, from the West Midlands, who died when he was 41 after being co-infected with both hepatitis C and HIV.

More than half of the boys treated for haemophilia at Lord Mayor Treloar College between the 1970s and 1980s are now dead.

Several pupils who attended the boarding school in Hampshire in the 1970s and 1980s were given treatment for haemophilia at an on-site NHS centre while receiving their education.

But it was later found that many pupils with the condition had been treated with plasma blood products which were infected with hepatitis and HIV.

Mark Payton who died when he was 41 after being co-infected with both hepatitis C and HIV

Mark Payton's sister Janine Jones said her brother could not wait to get back to school after every holiday.

She spoke as the findings from an inquiry into the blood infection scandal were being released.

Ms Jones, from Coleshill, Warwickshire, said: "Mark moved to Treloar's in 1972 when he was 11.

Mark Payton was a keen musician

"He was there until 1979, he actually stayed on, he loved it that much.

"He couldn't wait to get back there after breaks, he would be counting down the weeks to go back, he absolutely loved it.

"To be honest I'm glad he's not here to witness what we are seeing now – it would have really affected him."

The 59-year-old, whose brother was four years older than her, added: "My parents never got over it really, the fact that he was infected –they thought they were doing the best for him, sending him to Treloar's to get a decent education.

"He missed a lot of education, most of his schooling when he was small was done on the children's ward at the hospital in Birmingham.

"They really thought they were doing the best for him.

"Our parents have died in the last two years so I haven't got to tell them that.

"They were more than happy the inquiry was happening but unfortunately they have both passed away without any recognition for their son dying at all.

"I'm his only sibling so there is just me left to fight for him now."

Out of 122 boys treated at the school for haemophilia between 1970 and 1985, some 75 have since died.

Treloar School said in a statement: "This national scandal has devastated countless lives, including those of our former students and their families.

"Rightly, a public inquiry was set up to understand what happened and we have been a part of that process.

"We await the report's publication and hope that it provides our former students who were infected, and their families, with the answers they deserve.

"We fully support their calls for the Government to accelerate compensation payments.

"Students and their families placed their trust in the doctors and medical professionals who provided treatment in the 1970s and 80s.

"It has been shocking to discover, through the ongoing public inquiry, that some of our students may have received treatment which was unsafe or experimental.

"Recently, we welcomed some of our former students back to our school.

"They visited the memorial to those who died following treatment with infected blood products, which is in our school chapel.

"We understand and support the need for a more public and accessible memorial, and want to work with our former students and families to achieve this."

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