Like many pregnant women Sheila Thubron was diagnosed with anaemia caused by the low levels of iron in her blood. She was administered a blood transfusion in 1989 and gave birth a few weeks later to her fourth and youngest child Jack. It wasn’t until seventeen years later in 2006 that Sheila was diagnosed with the Hepatitis C Virus as a result of contaminated blood.

Sheila and her son Jack in 1989 after she received HCV infected contaminated blood
Sheila and her son Jack in 1989

Sheila confirmed that at first she had no symptoms; she believed she was recovering from anaemia and was quite happy raising her four children. It wasn’t until two years after Jack’s birth that she began to feel quite depressed and anxious. She put this down to suffering from ‘baby-blues’. Although she was prescribed anti-depressants, her symptoms became much worse over the next few years .

She was hospitalised twice as a result of two failed suicide attempts and left housebound due to anxiety. 

Sheila was forced to give up her job as a health assistant at Marie Curie due to her depression. She often felt that she could not give her all to her work or to her children, which only added to her illness. This also put a huge financial strain on her and her family.

Diagnosis and the fight for justice

When she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2006 Sheila was angry about what had happened, but the diagnosis also brought her some relief. She finally had an explanation for the symptoms she had been suffering from for many years, including fatigue, abdominal pains, aching joints and depression.

Symptoms continued for over a decade until she finally underwent a course of treatment in October 2016 which cleared her of HCV. However, it has had a lasting effect on her and her family as a whole.

Sheila feels that she could not be the mum she wanted to be to her children or the wife her husband, Derek, married. She credits her survival to her supportive and caring family.

Sheila now works alongside others also infected by contaminated blood and helped pressure the government to call a Public Inquiry, the preliminary hearings of which took place in September 2018. She is determined to fight for justice for those who have experienced the anguish and suffering that she has suffered and for those who have sadly passed away as a result of contaminated blood. 


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If you would like to enquire about making a claim, please click here, call our team on 020 7650 1089, or email us at cb@leighday.co.uk.

You can also follow us on Twitter @HCVJustice or on our Facebook page.

Our clients have been campaigning for many years for answers to their questions, the most burning question being how could contaminated blood have been given to so many NHS patients? We are taking steps to ensure that the surviving victims, and their families, are able to move forward with their lives

Leigh Day is a leading law firm with a track record of taking on governments, businesses and powerful institutions on behalf of individuals. We believe everyone should have access to justice.