Injection sparks mother's fears
Linconshire Echo http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk
31 Jan 2001
A Skegness mum is suing for
damages after blaming a sudden change in her son's behaviour on a mumps, measles and
Anita Hanson, a mother of five, has, through her London solicitors, filed a writ in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court against Smithkline Beecham plc and Smithkline and French Laboratories Ltd.
Mrs Hanson, who lives in Count Alan Road, Winthorpe, says her son Jamie was a perfectly normal baby until the MMR vaccination he had while the family lived in Boston.
Within seven days he had suffered an epileptic fit and his behaviour changed dramatically.
"Everything just seemed to stop," said Mrs Hanson.
Now, seven years on, she is fighting for compensation because of the damage she feels the vaccine has done to her nine-year-old son's life.
"Jamie has to have one-to-one tuition and speech therapy at school. He has a small attention span and loses interest really quickly," she said.
She puts his learning difficulties down to the MMR jab.
"Whether we win or lose this case, I will always believe Jamie's problems were caused by the vaccine," she said.
"He hasn't developed in the same way as other children and simple tasks, like getting dressed or making a sandwich are a problem for him. He hasn't any road sense and he has no sense of danger at all."
Mrs Hanson said the one-to-one teaching has helped with his reading, but he still has difficulties adding up.
Following Jamie's experience, she has declined MMR jabs when they were offered for her three younger children, Jade (eight), Katrina (four) and 18-month-old Stefan. Her eldest, Caine, aged 11, was vaccinated and had suffered no ill effects, she said.
Her case has been going on for seven years and Mrs Hanson has been told by her solicitor that it might be another two before it gets to court.
Peter Todd, a partner in Hodge Jones and Allen, solicitors for Mrs Hanson, confirmed that they had about 200 similar cases active.
"We are not anti-vaccine, but we strongly believe that vaccines that are given should be safe and that people should be able to have confidence in them," he said.
"It's true that the vast majority of children will be fine, but it's a bit unfair on those families who are not to be lumbered with the consequences."
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