A law firm with offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool has donated a cash sum to a client whose mobility scooter was stolen from his back garden, leaving him with limited mobility.

Watkins & Gunn has donated a sum of money toward the replacement of a mobility scooter for Antoni Olszewski from Skewen, Neath.

The firm made the decision to offer Mr. Olszewski a contribution towards the replacement of his mobility scooter after he suffered a number of unfortunate incidents.

Watkins & Gunn first came into contact with Mr Olszewski when he approached the legal team as a Core Participant in the Infected Blood Inquiry having suffered with Hepatitis C for over 30 years.

Called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, the infected blood scandal saw thousands of people across the UK infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products introduced through transfusions and other treatments during the late 1970s‐1980s.

Mr. Olszewski’s Hepatitis C eventually cleared through treatment three years ago, however earlier this year he began to feel unwell again and from his symptoms suspected that his Hepatitis C might have returned.

Mr. Olszewski explains:

“My GP firstly refused the test for Hepatitis C explaining that it was “too expensive” but when pressured the doctor relented and allowed me to take the test.

“I received the results of the test 10 days later when it was confirmed to me that the infection had returned.

“My wife and I were absolutely devastated by this news and the diagnosis caused us terrible trauma.”

Keen for a second opinion, Mr. Olszewski underwent another test at a different hospital and thankfully the test came back negative.

Mr. Olszewski says:

“To celebrate myself and my wife went for a short break abroad to stay with friends but when we came home thieves had entered our back garden and stolen my mobility scooter.

“When I approached my insurance company they said they would not pay out for the scooter as it was not covered by insurance. 

“We are struggling to afford to replace the scooter and without it I’m pretty much housebound and can’t get out and about to visit my family and friends, let alone do things like help my wife with the food shop.

“When Watkins & Gunn contacted us to say they were going to pay an amount toward replacing the scooter it meant the world to us.

“It means I can get a bit of independence back so I am very grateful for that.”

At least 2,400 people have died in the UK as a result of the infected blood scandal and about 70 of those who died were Welsh, with more than 200 still living with debilitating illness in Wales.

As one of the law firms designated by the inquiry, Watkins & Gunn is providing legal guidance and support to victims and their families throughout the entire process, and with costs covered by the inquiry.

Michael Imperato, Head of Public Law at Watkins & Gunn, says:

“Mr. Olszewski has had a lot of bad luck over the years. He has very painful joints as a result of the hepatitis and suffers very badly with his chest and other related ailments. He is therefore unable to walk long distances and is not very mobile. 

“He used the scooter to go to the local shops and to get himself out of the house.

“Mr. Olszewski is very much a family man with grown up children and grandchildren who he loves to visit. His son and one of his grandchildren, who is Autistic, live nearby so his scooter allows him to call on them for a visit should he wish.

“Life has not been easy for Mr. Olszewski by any means.

“Watkins & Gunn want to contribute an amount to the replacement of Mr. Olszewski’s scooter to give him back his mobility and some independence after so many years of distress and ill-health.  It’s the least he deserves after being through so much.”

Watkins & Gunn offers a wide range of legal services including Accident Claims, Medical Negligence, Wills and Probate, Employment and HR services, Education Law, Public Law, Business Law, Divorce and Family Law, Childcare Law, Criminal Law, Road Traffic Law and Property.