Patient who survived killer nurse tells of ordeal

Chua showed little reaction as he was found guilty. He will be sentenced today. Picture: PA
Chua showed little reaction as he was found guilty. He will be sentenced today. Picture: PA
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A YOUNG woman who survived an attempt on her life by a nurse found guilty of murdering and poisoning his patients says she has been left “scarred for life” by the incident.

Zubia Aslam, a bank clerk who lives in Glasgow, was among those poisoned by Victorino Chua during his time working at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Chua, 49, injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules while working at the hospital in 2011.

These were then unwittingly used by other nurses on the ward, leading to a series of insulin overdoses to mainly elderly victims. Speaking yesterday after Chua was convicted of murdering two patients, Ms Aslam, who is originally from Manchester, said her life would never be the same again.

The 24-year-old was being treated for gastroenteritis when she was put on a saline drip, which led to her “sweating buckets, feeling dizzy and hallucinating”.

Taken off the drip and given dextrose, she recovered, but a blood sample showed Ms Aslam had a very high level of insulin inside her. Analysis showed her saline bag contained enough insulin to kill her.

She said: “At least someone has been brought to justice and it gives a little peace of mind, but it still feels as though there is a scar left after all of this, a scar which will fade with time but which will never go away. Life has not been the same and never will be. This has turned my life upside down but also that of my family and I still have questions about how this was allowed to happen in the first place.

“What measures have been taken to date and will be taken going forward to ensure that this never happens again?”

Ms Aslam is now pursuing legal action against Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court returned its verdict yesterday after deliberating for 11 days.

Prosecutors said the Filipino father-of-two had decided to take out his personal frustrations on patients “for reasons truly known only to himself”.

After police were called in, Chua was said to have “changed tack” by sabotaging prescription charts, and doubling and trebling dosages – some with potentially lethal consequences – leading to his arrest in 2012.

Among the evidence produced by the prosecution was a self-penned letter found at Chua’s home in Stockport after his arrest. In the letter, described as “the bitter nurse confession” by Chua, he said he was “an angel turned into an evil person” and “there’s a devil in me”, who had things he would “take to the grave”.

Chua was also convicted of 31 charges of poisoning and attempted poisoning involving 22 victims.

He was found guilty of murdering Tracy Arden, 44, and Alfred Weaver, 83. He was cleared of murdering Arnold Lancaster, 81, who was suffering from cancer, but convicted of attempting to cause him grievous bodily harm with intent by poisoning.

Chua blinked as the verdicts were delivered but gave no other reaction. He will be sentenced today.