A RISCA haemophiliac who was infected with a life threatening virus in an NHS transfusion is campaigning for better compensation from the Government.

Wayne Gambin has lived with liver-damaging Hepatitis C since he was given a contaminated blood product used to treat his haemophilia aged two.

He and thousands ike him across Britain are fighting for the government to properly recognise the impact the illness has had on their lives – an illness that Mr Gambin describes as a “death sentence”.

The 36-year-old father-of-three said he contracted Hepatitis C through a clotting agent product given to him at the University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff.

He only found out he had the virus when he was aged 18.

Mr Gambin said there is little doctors can do to treat the disease, which slowly scars the liver of sufferers and eventually leads to cirrosis. Patients who face the search for a liver transplant could die within 12 months.

“We all have been given a death sentence,” said Mr Gambin. “It’s just how long we have to wait for it.”

The illness has had a multitude of other effects on his life.

He cannot touch his children if they cut themselves, while he is also more vulnerable to common illnesses like the flu. Meanwhile Mr Gambin takes anti-depressants to help him deal with constant morbid thoughts of what could happen in the future.

On top of all this, three years ago the former delivery driver was forced to stop work in the wake of the side-effects of an experimental treatment for the illness. He has since seen his home in Newport repossessed and is now facing bankruptcy.

Stigma about the illness has made Mr Gambin reluctant to talk about his experiences in the past – with many ignorant of how the virus is transmitted or associating it with drug use.

But he said he wants to speak out now so something can be done in his lifetime – fearing that his family could otherwise be left with nothing.

Mr Gambin and his wife Sharon Gambin have had three children together, Carley, 15, Kieran, 13 and Kelly-Ann[cor], 8. Neither his children or Mrs Gambin have contracted the illness.

He has accepted a payout of £20,000 for the infection, and another £25,000 is available should serious complications occur.

But people who also contracted HIV recieve a further yearly payout, and Mr Gambin said the compensation offered is nowhere near the £400,000 he believes people like himself deserve, on par with a similar scheme in Ireland.

“I can’t work. I can’t get life insurance – it’s so expensive once you mention you have Hepatitis C ,” he said.

“I’d want know my wife and children are secure if anything happened.”

Mr Gambin is not alone in his fight for compensation – has been joined by a Gwent MP who has vowed to back the father-of-three's corner.

Nearly 5,000 people were exposed to Hepatitis C through contaiminated blood products in the 1970s and 80s – and 2,000 people have since died.

Many of those people, including Mr Gambin, are taking part in the Tainted Blood campaign which calls for an Ireland-style compensation scheme to be introduced, along the lines of recommendations made by Lord Archer in 2009.

Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn,who himself has a cousin with haemophilia, said: “I think it is shameful that sufferers have not been properly compensated and I will do everything I can to ensure that they are."

He spoke at a debate in the House of Common’s last week, where the government rejected calls for higher payouts.

Public health minister Anne Milton said she does not believe there is a case for accepting Lord Archer’s recommendations that levels of payment in Britain should match Ireland’s scheme.

She added: “However I am persuaded that there is a need to look again at the level of payment made to those affected by Hepatitis C and I have started a review into this and other issues and hope to report by the end of 2010."