Social workers to place paralysed cancer jab girl on “at-risk” register
by Angela Johnson. Published Mon 21 Sep 2009 13:41, Last updated: 2009-09-21
The mother of a teenage girl, who has been left paralysed allegedly due to the HPV vaccine, has been told her daughter is to be placed on the ‘at-risk’ register.
Young Ashleigh Cave, 13, collapsed shortly after she was given the HPV jab at school – she is now unable to walk unaided.
Outraged single mum Cheryl, 37, has now been informed by social workers that Ashleigh is to be placed on the “at-risk” register and a Child Protection Plan will be put in place next week.
It is a controversial vaccine, believed to have caused health problems in at least 6 other young girls across the UK.
Ashleigh has been confined to a bed in Alder Hey children’s hospital since October 24th 2008.
Single mum Cheryl is calling for an investigation into the safety of the drug Cervarix, which guards against girls contracting the human papilloma virus.
Cheryl has been told that doctors believe Ashleigh’s condition is “psychosomatic” and they have refused to carry out further tests, despite providing her with seven painkillers daily.
The schoolgirl collapsed half an hour after receiving the vaccine and was soon unable to walk, and is suffering agonising pains in her legs.
Cheryl is determined not to be silenced by the threats and, with news that Boots chemists are now selling the jab over-the-counter to girls in their twenties, concerned Cheryl is desperate to warn others.
Angry mother-of-one Cheryl said: “At first they tried to tell us she was imagining it because she was being bullied.
“Now they tell us it is all in Ashleigh’s head.
“They even suggested it wasn’t Ashleigh making it up and that I may have Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.
“I am absolutely outraged.
“They have now told me Ashleigh is to be placed on the at risk register, and that I am “abusing her mentally”.
“I refuse to let their threats silence us.
“Ashleigh is upset, she does not know what is happening to her and it’s incredibly cruel for doctors to refuse to test her.
“Yet they are still pumping her full of painkillers each day – 7 different tablets, including morphine.
“Ashleigh is a good girl, she is not a liar.
“I have seen my daughter in tears as a result of her paralysis and I know that vaccine was to blame.
“I am doing what I believe is best as a mother – protecting my daughter and fighting to expose the truth of the dangers this jab holds.”
Nearly a year after her vaccine, Ashleigh is still an in-patient at the hospital and is unable to stand or walk unaided.
Ashleigh was born with a number of health problems unrelated to paralysis including Noonan’s syndrome (narrowing of the valve that takes blood from the heart to the lungs (Pulmonary valve stenosis), 80% deafness, bronchial malacia and asthma.
Ashleigh is undergoing physiotherapy three times a week to help her regain movement in her legs.
Cheryl insists Ashleigh’s condition is due to the HPV vaccine, and recalls a psychologist’s report last May which stated Ashleigh’s “attitude is fantastic” and she has “no need for therapy.”
Cheryl said: “They called in a psychologist who assessed Ashleigh, as they were threatening to put her in a psychiatric unit.
“The psychologist categorically said she does not need any therapy, and that her attitude is fantastic.
“I do not understand how a trained psychologist can find nothing wrong with her and then doctors and social workers are allowed to throw these accusations at us.
“Ashleigh has never been bullied or unhappy in school, she is desperate to go back and start the new term.
“She is a high achiever and she’s missed so much I’m worried her education is going to be severely affected.
“It’s incredibly difficult for me to see Ashleigh so unhappy every day.
“She would like to come home but the house is not equipped with the equipment needed to take care of her.
“I have her home at weekends but it is very difficult.
“She cannot walk without me helping her, getting upstairs and in and out the bath is incredibly hard for us.
“They are talking about re-housing us to a place with disabled access but there is a huge waiting list.
“In the meantime I am having to travel on three different buses, over an hour each day, to see Ashleigh.
“I want her home more than anything in the world but I want to ensure she gets the correct care.
“The impression I get from the nurses and doctors, the people are are employed to care for my daughter, is that they would like to wash their hands of us.
“The hospital brought in social workers from the local authority who have told me they are considering putting Ashleigh on an at-risk register.
“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.
“We haven’t imagined these things.
“I’m being falsely accused of keeping Ashleigh ill.
“It’s so hurtful, all I want is for Ashleigh and I to be back to normal.
“There are 6 other girls who’ve been affected by the vaccine in the UK, if not more – our solicitor is representing us all.
“I’m furious we were misled by the school and nurses.
“I was told it was ‘perfectly safe’ and now we learn that the vaccine had not been tested on girls with other conditions.
“Should not have been using my daughter as a guinea pig.
“I was treated for cervical cancer a few years ago, and naturally, I wanted Ashleigh to be protected.
“There are girls in America having seizures and paralysis related to the vaccine given out there two years ago.
“Ashleigh is not the only girl suffering as a result of this jab and I am adamant the public must know the risks.
Emotional Ashleigh, 13, said: “I am so miserable here in hospital. The other kids on the ward are nice enough but it’s hard as they keep leaving.
“I’ve been here nearly a year – last Christmas was horrible sat in my bed.
“All my friends keep asking when I’ll be back in school, I wish I could be.
“I’m really frightened I’ll never walk again.
“I have to lift my legs with my hands, which is really tough when mum isn’t here to help.
“I’m so sick of being ill, I’m in constant pain – it’s like a dull ache in my back and legs that won’t go away.
“I’m on painkillers, loads of tablets every day, and doing physiotherapy sessions.
“So I don’t understand why the doctors say I’m making it up and still giving me medicine.”
The HPV school vaccination programme followed clinical trials in 2005 on more than 18,000 women under the age of 26.
But critics have claimed the five-year study was too short and not enough pre-pubescent girls were involved in it.
After separate clinical trials, the U.S. started using a similar vaccine called Gardasil.
Since then there have been dozens of ‘adverse events’ reported, including 30 deaths, as well as cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome – a little-understood malfunctioning of the immune system which can cause paralysis.
A spokesman for the MHRA said: ‘Guillain-Barré syndrome naturally occurs in the population.
“There is no good evidence to suggest that the Cervarix vaccine can cause it.’
But Jackie Fletcher, of anti-vaccine organisation Jabs, said: ‘We should halt the HPV vaccine programme in the UK until we get to the bottom of whether this poor girl’s paralysis was caused by the vaccine or not.’