Crying shame of the vaccination victims by Margarette Driscoll and Steve Connor, Sunday Times, 3 aug, 1997
The letter from the government vaccine damage payments unit was brief and to the point. Sorry, but in the secretary of state's view, seven-year-old William Kessick did not qualify for compensation. On reading this, Rosemary Kessick, William's mother, was seized by an uncharacteristic fury. Her son was in one of his ''psychotic'' phases', totally uncommunicative, sometimes rocking and screaming for hours on end, and suffering from constant diarrhoea. It was bad enough having a child so terribly damaged but the pain was made infinately worse by the fact that nobody in authority would acknowledge what had happened to him.
Kessick, from Peterborbugh, Cambridgeshire', rang the compensation unit. "You tell the secretary of state he's welcome to come round and clear up the mess that's on the wall today and stop William eating it, she said. "Then let him tell me William's not disabled."
One of a growing group of angry parents, Kessick believes her son's problems stem from the MMR vaccine, routinely given to children just over a year old to immunise them against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles).
When William was born, he was perfect, bright as a button". Within a couple of weeks of his vaccination, at 15 months, he began head-banging and developed swollen glands. He spent whole nights shrieking. "The worst thing was, we started losing him," says his mother. "His speech and understanding diminished and as time went on it disappeared. We could see him leaving us and there was nothing we could (10 to bring him back). Their son is now classed as severely autistic and has Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the intestine. His illness has had a devastating effect on the family. For four years his mother was up every 90 minutes in the night. She eventually gave up her career as a business analyst.
William, who attends a special school, cannot be let out-side the house alone for fear he will be run over, nor left in a room or he will start gnawing through electric wires.
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