A mum who was made ill after she was given tainted blood during a pregnancy has said she will fight for justice alongside her fellow victims.
Sheila Thubron, 65, was given hepatitis C when she was given a transfusion when she was found to be anaemic while expecting her youngest child Jack, now 29, in 1989.
After giving birth she suffered from depression, which left her housebound and led her to attempt to take her life twice, while she also had to give up the health assistant job she loved.
She was finally given an explanation for the illness 11 years ago when she was told by the NHS that she had been given a transfusion infected with the virus.
She has since been treated and cleared of hepatitis, which also left her in pain and tired, but its shadow has been cast long over her life as she has fought for action over the scandal.
The mum-of-four, who is married to Derek, 67, has attended the first day of Infected Blood Inquiry, which was launched yesterday in London and is expected to continue for the next two and a half years.
The infected blood claimed the lives of thousands and left many more ill after they were given transfusions infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses during the 1970s and 1980s.
What I want to see is transparency and to get everything out in the open and I feel sure we will see that.Sheila Thubron
It will examine why men, women and children in the UK were given infected blood and/or infected blood products.
The hearing will also consider the impact on their families, how the authorities, including the Government responded; the nature of any support provided following infection; questions of consent; and whether there was a cover-up.
Sheila, who grew up on Sunderland’s Ford Estate and now lives in Springwell Village, joined in the moving commemoration service which launched the hearing and will also be present today and tomorrow for the first speakers.
As a co-participant she will be able to seek information from the inquiry.
She said: “I wanted to be here mainly because of the opening statements and this is what we have fought for so long and I wanted to be here to support everybody else.
“It’s amazing to reach this day and I’ve brought a friend for support and she has been in tears.
“The commemorative service was very powerful.
“What I want to see is transparency and to get everything out in the open and I feel sure we will see that.
“What we want is justice and I can’t get beyond that and we want real support for the families of those affected and are still alive.”
Sheila has been offered support from Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson, who has pushed for answers for the campaign.