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Woman exposed to Hepatitis C gives emotional testimony

Woman exposed to Hepatitis C gives emotional testimony

By Blake McCoy. CREATED Sep 19, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Hepatitis C civil trial continued Monday with emotional testimony from Anne Arnold, who contracted the disease during an outbreak that became public in 2008.

"I pride myself on being a strong woman and this took me right down," says Arnold.

Her nightmare began in July, 2007 at the Southern Nevada Endoscopy Center. It was Friday the 13th and Anne went in for a routine colonoscopy.

That was the day she contracted Hepatitis C.

"I'm ashamed. I feel like I have this disease I could give anybody if I'm not careful," says Arnold.

Arnold claims a life of zero energy and says she's been forced to give up her job as a real estate agent, in addition to nearly all physical activity.

"It's killing me. It's killing me not to do the things I want to do. Especially with my husband," says Arnold.

Arnold says intimacy with her husband is almost non-existent.

He's battling cancer and she fears his weakened immune system will make him more prone to contracting the disease.

They now sleep in separate bedrooms.

"It's like I lost my wife and I got a roommate," said James Arnold on the stand.

Anne says at one point she thought he'd be better off without her.

While the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and their owner Dr. Dipak Desai are facing criminal charges, the deep pockets are with the drug companies.

Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Services are accused of continuing to distribute large 50-milliliter vials of the anesthetic propofol, even though they knew doctors and nurses would be tempted to double-dip with the larger vials.

In 2008, when the exposure became public, the Southern Nevada Health District confirmed 106 cases of Hepatitis C.

Anne Arnold has since started painful treatment, which she likens to chemotherapy, and hopes to eventually rid herself of the disease.

"I hope to be cleared so I can get back to my normal life," says Arnold. "At least begin a new relationship with my husband. I want that back. I miss him."

Testimony resumes Tuesday.