TEN days after his routlue vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella, 13-month-old Robert Fletcher became ill.
At lunchtime his mother Jackie noticed he had become drowsy. Suddenly, around teatime, he had a convulsion and the Fletchers rushed off to their local hospital with their unconscious child.
At the hospital Robert regained consciousness, but was screaming, vomiting and covered in blotches. Jackie, who had read the Health Education Authority Information leaflet on MMR vaccination, immediately alerted the paediatrician to the fact that Robert had had the Jab
Just ten days earlier.
'I remember reading that it could have a mild reaction after six to ten days,' she said, 'but the doctor looked at me strangely and dismissed it, saying it was a febrile convulsion caused by an ear infection.'
Since that time, Robert has suffered ever more frequent fits and has been diagnosed as having erratic epilepsy. He attends a special needs school, has failed to develop any further mentally arid has only limited powers of speech. 'Although he is now five-and-a-hail, he is like a toddler,says Jackie, of Golborne, near Warrlngton. The Fletchers began JABS (Justice, Awareness, Basic Support) after confronting a medical profession unwilling to admit the MMR vaccine had damaged their son. They are pursuing a vaccine damage claim for Robert. Yet, despite the fact that he collects the highest living and mobility allowances (he has been assessed 80 per cent disabled for the benefit), the family knows that Robert may not be eligible for compensation under the tribunal's 80 pc rule.