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Originally published December 10 2010

Mother wins cash payout for damage her son suffered from MMR vaccine jab

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A mother whose son suffered brain damage 18 years ago from the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine has been awarded 90,000 ($140,000) in damages.

Robert Fletcher suffered his first seizure 10 days after receiving the MMR shot 18 years ago, at the age of 13 months. Epilepsy-induced brain damage rendered him permanently unable to talk or to feed himself or stand without help.

"Robert is nearly 19 but mentally he is like a 14-month-old toddler," said his mother, Jackie Fletcher. "He can't stand unaided and he is doubly incontinent. He can't speak except to say 'Hi, Mum' or 'Hi, Daddy.' "

Although doctors later determined that Robert suffered from a genetic predisposition toward epilepsy, the tribunal ruled that "on the balance of probabilities," it was the vaccine that directly induced the condition.

"Robert was a more or less fit boy who, within the period usually considered relevant to immunization, developed a severe convulsion ... and he then went on to be epileptic and severely retarded," the tribunal wrote. "The seizure occurred ten days after the vaccination. In our view, this cannot be put down to coincidence."

"My husband John and I have battled for 18 years for the cause of Robert's disability to be officially recognized," Jackie Fletcher said. "We were told the vaccine was perfectly safe. Like most people, we trusted what the doctors and nurses were putting to us."

Fletcher now runs the vaccine awareness nonprofit Justice, Awareness and Basic Support (JABS), which provides assistance to nearly 2,000 families who are seeking compensation for children who they believe were harmed by vaccines. She believes that her case is the first in which damages have been awarded to a surviving victim of the MMR vaccine.

The practice of universal childhood vaccination continues to come under fire from parents and health advocates concerned about its one-size-fits-all approach.

"The only safe vaccine is the one that is never used." writes Andreas Moritz in her book Cancer Is Not A Disease, quoting James Shannon, former director of the National Institutes of Health.

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