Managing Editor's Note: You can read Dr. Wakefield's complete analysis of the "Lancet 12" in his new book, Callous Disregard from Skyhorse Publishing. Visit Dr. Wakefield's website HERE.
By Tim Kasemodel
On Monday, May 24, 2010, Dr. Andrew Wakefield was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today show regarding the GMC decision to revoke his license to practice medicine. That day, we received a call from Ami Schmitz, the producer of the Dateline NBC episode “A Dose of Controversy,” to tell us they were going to rerun the show from last August with updates the following weekend, May 30. As we were the family who agreed to have our son’s procedure filmed for the original episode, she wanted an update on how our son Thomas was doing and what I thought of the interview.
Schmitz mentioned that “the first thing out of Matt’s mouth” after interviewing Dr. Wakefield was, “How is Thomas doing?” My wife and I gave her a long list of improvements we had seen in Thomas over the past twelve months. In the original interview, we had mentioned to Schmitz that the school had given up even trying to teach Thomas in November of 2007 due to his behaviors. Improvements since beginning his treatment included:
1) a significant decrease in the intensity and duration of his pain induced tantrums;
2) a dramatic increase in attempts at communication and language including orally reciting the alphabet (video sent to Dateline); counting up to 20 including skip counting; and a vocabulary of almost 50 words from 5 words;
3) an increase in self-help skills including showering and washing his hair and feeding himself with a spoon;
4) he is finally gaining weight after a failure to thrive diagnosis (he had lost 16 pounds while he was sick); and
5) a slow but steady improvement in his bowel issues.
We explained that there is a long way to go, but we did not expect to change a decade of bowel disease overnight.
I explained that I was disappointed to see Brian Deer getting airtime. I told Schmitz that I get “emotional” when I think about what treatments might have been available to my son had someone listened to Dr. Wakefield, instead of pretending what he described does not exist.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dateline NBC's Dr. Andrew Wakefield & Vaccine Injury Interview: The Parent’s Response: