Ashleigh Cave lost the use of her
legs after a vaccination
PARENTS are being threatened with having
their children taken into care after
questioning doctors’ diagnoses or objecting
to their medical care.
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who
campaigns to stop injustices in the family
court, said: “Very often care proceedings
are used as retaliation by local authorities
against ‘uppity’ people who question the
Cases are emerging across the UK:
The mother of a 13-year-old girl who
became partly paralysed after being given a
cervical cancer vaccination says social
workers have told her the child may be
removed if she (the mother) continues to
link her condition with the vaccination.
A couple had all six of their children
removed from their care after they disputed
the necessity of an invasive medical test on
their eldest daughter. Doctors, who
suspected she might have had a blood
disease, called for social services to
obtain an emergency protection order,
although it was subsequently confirmed that
she was not suffering from the condition.
The parents were still considered unstable,
and all their children were taken from them.
A single mother whose teenage son is
terminally ill and confined to a wheelchair
has been told he is to become the subject of
a care order after she complained that her
local authority’s failure to provide
bathroom facilities for him has left her
struggling to maintain sanitary standards.
In the first of those cases, Ashleigh
Cave, 13, from Liverpool, began experiencing
severe headaches and dizziness half an hour
after being inoculated last October with
Cervarix, which guards against girls
contracting the human papilloma virus.
The schoolgirl was soon collapsing
repeatedly; she lost the use of her legs and
was admitted to Alder Hey children’s
hospital. Nearly 11 months later she is
still in hospital and is unable to stand or
walk unaided. Her mother, Cheryl, has now
been told that doctors believe her condition
must be psychosomatic.
“The hospital brought in social workers
from the local authority who have told me
they are considering putting Ashleigh on an
at-risk register,” Cheryl Cave said. She is
convinced her daughter’s paralysis was
caused by the vaccination.
Cave said that a social worker from
Sefton council said she suspected her of
having Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy or
factitious illness syndrome — controversial
conditions in which mothers are said to
attribute illnesses falsely to their
children in order to gain attention.
Cave said: “The social worker said I
should stop believing the injection has
anything to do with Ashleigh’s condition
because I am putting my thoughts on to her
and stopping her getting well.
“Since Ashleigh was in hospital she has
become incontinent and had double kidney
infections and chest infections. Have I made
all these up?”
In the third of these cases, Melvilina
Gavin-Langley’s 16-year-old son Omar is
terminally ill with Duchenne muscular
dystrophy and restricted to a wheelchair.
His mother is embroiled in a legal
dispute with Birmingham city council over a
partly completed extension intended to
provide Omar with easy access to a bathroom.
Gavin-Langley, 49, who wants the
extension rebuilt because she says it was
designed in a way that was dangerous and
obstructed access to sewers, said: “I have
had to carry Omar upstairs to bathe him but
it was risking dislocating his shoulders and
also I got a hernia from all the lifting.
“I told the council I could no longer
lift Omar across my back.
“They then turned that around and said I
had said I could no longer care for my son.
They say they have to put him into care
because his hair has not been washed and
he’s not getting a bath. They have just
threatened me with this because they don’t
like me taking legal action against them.”
A spokesman for Birmingham city council
confirmed the council was seeking an interim
care order but said social workers wanted
Omar to remain with his mother.
Sefton council did not comment on the
Ashleigh Cave case.