Monday, October 21, 2019

When politicians and bureaucrats run your health care system...

Tainted love

Liz married twice. The same NHS scandal killed both her husbands.

Liz Hooper never meant to fall in love with two haemophiliacs, any more than she ever intended to be widowed twice. But fall in love with them is what she did, one after the other. And now they are gone, she says, her heart overflows for both men equally.
Sometimes Liz wonders what the chances must have been. A million to one? More? 
They were such wildly different characters. Jeremy was loud, gregarious, an extrovert - at 6ft and 17 stone, as large a character as he was a physical presence. Paul was his opposite, slightly built, quiet and dry-witted, a gentle man as well as a gentleman. 
And what she felt for each of them was singular, unique. Jeremy was her first love, she says, and Paul was her soulmate. 
But probabilities aren’t something Liz dwells upon much, barely six months after Paul’s death and almost a decade after Jeremy’s. It's still too painful to contemplate. 
What united Jeremy and Paul, as well as their love for Liz and her love for them, was the scandal that killed both men. It's been called the biggest in the history of the National Health Service, and campaigners say it has resulted in the deaths of at least 2,883 British haemophiliacs - though no-one has yet been held accountable. 
During treatment for haemophilia, Jeremy and Paul were given contaminated blood products, and they died horribly as a result. 
If Liz hadn’t lost Jeremy, she wouldn’t have met Paul. And that’s a bittersweet pill for her to take, she says, as she sits in her living room and recalls them both. “Because I’d wish neither of them dead, but I wouldn't want my life without either of them in it.” 

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