By Anne Dachel
Joshua Coleman is the father of eight year old Otto Coleman, who was vaccine-injured at seventeen months of age. Joshua was very involved in the efforts to stop the bill that would end vaccine choice in California last year.
Joshua came to Sacramento on June 10, 2015 to speak to the California Assembly Health Committee about what happened to his son. In this Age of Autism piece Disabled CA Boy's Testimony to SB277 Lawmakers: "I Love Going To School. Please Don't Take That Away From Me." we can read what Joshua wanted to tell legislators.
Despite the fact that he wasn't able to address the Health Committee, Joshua did make his speech before a huge crowd at the capitol on June 25, 2015.
Here is part of what Joshua had to say about the reality of vaccine injury and what doctors and legislators are willing to close their eyes to.
"We asked why this had happened, and the doctor said it was most likely a reaction to either a vaccination or an airborne virus, the latter being rejected since he'd had no signs of illness. The doctor then slammed the door shut on further discussion of how our healthy son went from walking to being paralyzed. There was no investigation to specifically determine what had caused our child to go from walking and running into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. At a later date, we took our son to Johns Hopkins for further testing. There, doctors investigated every possible reason why our son might have become paralyzed from Transverse Myelitis, every possible reason except for vaccines. This made no sense then, and it makes no sense now, as every doctor that Otto saw at four different hospitals mentioned that the vaccines he received in close proximity to his paralysis were the most likely culprit."
Recently I contacted Joshua Coleman so he could tell us more about his experiences.
“We showed up at the capitol and there was a large rally, hundreds and hundreds of parents—possibly about a thousand—showed up and several of us gave speeches. I spoke about my experience with vaccines. My son was vaccine injured at seventeen months old.
“I have his vaccination cards here. I actually looked at his vaccination records. At seventeen months old, he had received thirty-seven vaccines, which is about three times the amount I got in my entire adult life. He ended up paralyzed with transverse myelitis.
“I was very much under the impression that vaccine injury was extremely rare, that’s what they told me at the time. Right off the bat, after the MRI, they were aware that it was in all likelihood a vaccine injury, which of course was later proven at Johns Hopkins. --But that it was very, very rare.
“And when something like that happens to your child, you want to be under the impression that okay, if this happened, they were as careful as possible and this couldn’t be avoided. Over time, doing my research, I, in fact, saw that the vaccine program is extremely careless, and possibly this could have been prevented had they just done better safety studies.
“...And nobody told me about VAERS, so there was no VAERS report submitted by the doctors who saw him, which they are obligated by law to do. They didn’t tell me about Vaccine Injury Court. I had no idea the kind of expenses that come along when you have a child that’s a paraplegic. I very quickly learned how expensive it can be. It makes it very difficult to work or do the types of things to earn money…. It’s extremely difficult, and I just think that there’s no way SB277 is something that should be enacted where it can do this type of damage to a family.”
We discussed how the issue of vaccine damage has been narrowed to the controversy over autism and vaccines, yet other injuries are just as important to consider.
“Autism is the main focus of vaccine injury right now. I think that’s very relevant; it’s a huge part, if not the biggest part of vaccine injury. But it is not the only part of vaccine injury. When you read an article in the media, the public perception is ‘The people that are worried about vaccines are worried about autism, and we’ve proven that that’s not true.’ They don’t even discuss the other things that can happen. Things like what happened to my son, or what happened to Karen Kain’s daughter, and the deaths that happen from vaccines. These are all very, very relevant. They don’t need to be discounted. They need to be part of the discussion, and I think people will start to understand what we’re talking about here.
“Now when people see Otto in a wheelchair, the most common thing that I am asked is, ‘What happen?’
“And I’ll say, ‘It’s a vaccine injury.’
“And the most common response is, ‘Vaccine injury? What’s that?’
“Literally these parents, these people, these people who have been vaccinated, these people who have vaccinated their children, they don’t even know what a vaccine injury is. Which is extremely disturbing and really shows how very purposefully the industry has given this public perception that it’s not even a real thing. And of course, we know that it is.”
With the push to end vaccine exemptions and the publicity surrounding “VaxXed, ” I asked Joshua what’s ahead.
“I think right the most important thing is, I think it’s a numbers game. I think we all need to band together, and we all need to be very vocal.
“Unfortunately, even though there are a lot of us, there are more than our group who are being quiet, who are standing by the side lines and just kind of hoping that we succeed here.
“These people need to come out of the closet. We need to all join together. You need to be brave and be vocal. We are not going to conquer this demon unless we all together stand and fight.
“And even more importantly, or just as important, are people in the medical community: doctors, nurses, people who are part of these vaccine research tests. You need to stand up. And we’re actually seeing more and more of that, but the more the better. Don’t be afraid to come out of the closet.
“I hate to be overly dramatic here, but we are talking about the future of the human race. We’re talking about the lives of babies, families. There’s probably nothing—I can’t think of anything that is more important right now in the world.
“The media conditions people to ridicule you—ridicule us—if you say anything against vaccines, the vaccine program whatsoever. You need to not be afraid of that. When I came out two years ago, I was a little bit worried, and I felt like I had no choice because SB277 had come out and I was not going to sit on the sidelines and let this pass. …
“Please, please come out! Be brave, stand with us. You won’t regret it, and we can beat this thing together.”
Joshua and I talked about how this needs to be a major presidential campaign issue in 2016. What could be more important than the health of our children?
“Beyond this being just somewhere that we need to be more vocal about, it’s a political issue, unfortunately. Right now it’s more important than ever before.
“ Absolutely, if Hillary Clinton gets into office, we’re going to be looking at federal mandates coming down. Mandates that are going to be almost impossible to fight.
“You have Donald Trump who has recognized and acknowledged that vaccines do in fact cause autism; there is a problem with the vaccine program. And he is absolutely against mandates. As far as I’m concerned, this is a one issue election year. There’s nothing more important to me than this issue. I think people have to think about that and vote with that in mind.”
Finally I brought up the claim that for the “greater good” we all must be vaccinated, and unfortunately, some children will be at risk for a reaction. Joshua showed how protecting the herd isn’t a valid reason.
“SB277 came about over the measles issue at Disneyland. They say we need herd immunity to protect everyone, and the interesting thing is that ‘herd immunity’ was a concept that came before vaccines. It was talked about as far as people getting the disease and passing immunity on. So for instance, with measles, vaccines have destroyed herd immunity. If we really had a perfect system there, people would get measles at an age appropriate time—they say the first two years of life, it can be a little scary—but they would get it at an age appropriate time, and then the mothers pass down immunity to their children which protected them for the first two years of life. How perfect is that?
“So now with vaccinations, they have created immuno-compromised children that are immuno-compromised that the scariest time to get this disease. And their solution to this problem is EVERYBODY HAS TO GET VACCINATED. This is insane.
“There is no product ever that has required every single person on the planet to use it in order for it to work. How convenient for them.
“It should be very obvious what’s going on here--that this is not about safety; it’s about money. The fact that SB277 came around when not one person died—a bunch of people got a rash and got over it. I believe more than half of them were vaccinated. It’s absolutely absurd, and not to mention, …the Disneyland incident went on for six days. ...And it wasn’t just Disneyland, it was also Disney’s California Adventure, and between the two parks, you’re looking at 70,000 people in attendance everyday for six days. And the amount of people that actually got the disease falls within under one percent of the amount of people exposed, which falls within the efficacy of the vaccination. The whole thing is absolutely absurd and makes no sense whatsoever.”
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.