Living Stories: Home page


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Amanda: Widow of Andrew, who died as a young adult.

And money doesn't make any difference in some ways, but it does seem like a bit of a slap in the face when someone says, 'Well widows can have it, but only if they've been widowed in the last however many months or if they're widowed since such and such a date'. You think, 'Well, so my loss is different because it happened earlier?' You know, you could say well my loss was greater, because I had my husband for less time, I mean, all sorts of ways of looking at it, but it just seemed like another slap in the face.

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Carol G: Wife of Pete who died as an adult.

With regard to compensation, ex gratia, whatever people want to call it, yes of course it helps if people can't work and they're ill to have financial recompense, but that on its own means nothing. And most people that I've campaigned with over the years would have actually much preferred a public inquiry.

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Diana: Mother of Stuart, who died as a young adult.

I certainly have felt, personally, that I have battled for everything for Stuart all the way through his life, financially I'm talking about now. Never mind the compensation side of it. But we've had to beg for every penny for him, through the DSS, you're talking about income support and all the rest of it. And filling in forms and filling in forms and filling in forms, and then saying the same thing over and over again. And I believe that we shouldn't have had to have been put in that position. It was like they were trying to catch you out, that's how it felt.

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Janet: Mother of Stuart.

It was a lesser amount if you were a younger child, so Stuart obviously had the lesser amount. But we were encouraged to take it. We had to sign a disclaimer that we wouldn't pursue it again. And as some children were poorly, whether one or two had died already, I can't remember, but it was the fear element again, and we felt that we had to take it, because if we didn't take it, they wouldn't get anything at all. So, we all signed to accept the money, to hopefully give them a few luxuries in the short period that we thought that they'd got.

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Ronnie: Ronnie's nephew Christopher died as a young adult. Ronnie's sister and brother-in-law, Ann Marie and John, were also interviewed. Ronnie is living with haemophilia and HIV.

Well, because, again it was a crazy time, I mean people just didn't think that they were going to be around long. So they really took what they could get there and then, not only for themselves but for their families.