Daily Mail, Jan 1998.

WHEN Anne  picked up her six-month-old son from his cot one day, she felt she was picking up a rag doll. His legs dangled uselessly beneath him. 'It was the first inkling we had that something was gravely wrong, says Anne.

Edward, now 11 suffered polio following a routine vaccination for Diptheria, Polio and Tetanus (DPT). Symptoms developed 22 days after his second DPT jab. Although he has regained the use of his right leg. his left leg is wasted from the buttock to the foot and is now almost 21n shorter than the other one. His Achilles tendon has shortened so he walks as though on tiptoe, and there are worries his spine will twist. He faces major surgery in the next few years to lengthen the leg and prevent further spinal problems.

Yet under the rules of the Vaccine Damages Payment Unit, Edward is classified only 50% disabled because he has the use of one leg. They launched a claim with the Unit in September 1967 after doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital said they were convinced Edward had had polio, but they were turned down.

An appeal ruling in Apr 1990 decided that although in all probability the polio vaccine had caused the damage, Edward did not meet the 80% criteria.

'There needs to be a review of the vaccine damage payment scheme,' says Anne. "This 80pc rule is insupportable. Many of these children have long-term needs and the criteria take no account of emotional damage. 'I also think there needs to be a review of the safety of these vaccines and parents need to be informed of the risks. We had our second son immunised, although we had to fight to have each element of vaccine given separately. We have tried to be responsible but Edward has paid the price for community health.'

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