Death of haemophiliac campaigner Haydn Lewis
Haydn Lewis, the haemophiliac campaigner who featured in a number of films on Newsnight, died this morning (Friday 21/5).
He would want me to point out that, in a timely development, a freedom of information request he had been chasing for years came through on Thursday. Haydn was told about it.
Haydn wanted to see a letter from 1990 from the-then Chief Medical Officer, Sir Donald Acheson, to Kenneth Clarke, who was then Secretary of State for Health.
This was when the government faced litigation from the haemophilia community over their infection with HIV through contaminated blood products.
The letter could prove an important missing piece in a puzzle Haydn had been putting together for years. The Information Commissioner's ruling came through yesterday - that these papers should now be disclosed, and that the Department of Health (DoH) breached the freedom of information act in its handling of this request.
The DoH now has 35 days in which to release the letter, or appeal.
Haydn died disappointed that Gordon Brown felt unable to take up an invitation to visit him, to learn about how widows of haemophiliacs often struggle to make ends meet.
Here you can see Haydn talking about this issue in his last appearance on Newsnight:
And the rest of the haemophilia community has yet to see how the new government is going to respond to this issue.
An early sign will be how they handle a court ruling, shortly before the election, and after Haydn's last appearance on Newsnight. That ruling found in favour of composer Andrew March, also a haemophiliac. He challenged the Labour government's position over compensation in the UK, as compared with that in Ireland, and won.
Haydn had developed liver cancer following infection with the Hepatitis C virus. He had survived a liver transplant, but the cancer returned. It's hard to imagine the strength of character that drove him.
Not only was Haydn also living with HIV and the likelihood that he had been exposed to vCJD, he also lived with the knowledge that all of this was the result of contaminated blood products aimed at treating his haemophilia.
These were given to him by the National Health Service, in the 1970s and 80s, under successive governments.
Haydn wanted to understand what went wrong, and he unearthed more about this than pretty much anyone, and did so not just for himself but for scores of other families he knew who were, and are, in a similar situation.
He was a walking encyclopaedic guide to the thousands of government documents in which officials, scientists, doctors and politicians revealed how thousands of haemophiliacs became infected just like Haydn.
All the more remarkable then that Haydn became the generous man who will be missed by so many people from today.
He and his wife Gaynor struck me as more like a teenage couple, than a team married for 35 years with two sons and a grandson, on whom Haydn doted.
They were a remarkable pair. Haydn had inadvertently infected Gaynor with HIV, yet their bond was strong. They were hardly ever out of each other's sight.
Haydn was very funny, and giggled with a sometimes childish sense of humour. I spoke to him often, and he was always positive.
I'm glad we managed to speak on Tuesday, when he chuckled about having a foot massage in the hospice in Cardiff near his home. He also told me he was tired.
I'll miss Haydn. He had become a friend as well as a reliable and informed advisor.
Haydn was only 53. He had a lot more to give.