Sat, December 16, 2006
End in sight in hep-C
2006-12-16 03:19:57 MST
By PABLO FERNANDEZ , CALGARY SUN
poses for a photograph following a news conference at the Mayfield Inn in
Edmonton on Friday. His wife, Yvonne, received a blood transfusion in 1985 and
learned in 1992 that she was badly infected with Hepatitis C. She died in 2003.
(Edmonton Sun photo by Darryl Dyck)
Exactly three years and
one day after tainted blood killed his wife, Jim Gerow is getting some closure
after years of believing civil servants got away with murder.
The feds yesterday said
they'll pay more than $1 billion to Canadians who contracted hepatitis C
through the Canadian blood system between 1958 and 1985.
Although the settlement
gives him some peace of mind, Gerow, who says he lost everything because of
incompetence and lack of compassion on the part of the government, feels
justice has yet to be done.
"I felt for a long
time that the government and the health-care system let us down," said the
Edmonton man represented by Calgary lawyer Vaughn Marshall.
Jim's wife Yvonne
contracted hep-C through a blood transfusion in 1985.
Yvonne's health deteriorated,
forcing Jim to become a full-time caregiver while trying to earn a living.
They had to sell their
home and use up their life's savings. Jim said he couldn't keep a job because
of the disease's stigma and three years ago, he lost his wife.
is a small step towards addressing an arbitrary injustice that went unanswered
for too long, said Marshall.
"Mr. Gerow is a
classic example of what could've been avoided," he said.
been saved and people could've avoided financial devastation."
Calgary lawyer Mark
Freeman said victims, as well as the estates of those who died before the
announcement, should start receiving compensation by next summer.
How much each victim
will receive will depend on their personal circumstances, he said.