The Return of a Lost Child – Day Seventeen of the Autism Omnibus Proceeding – Snyder v. the Secretary of Health and Human Services
By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
An anonymous child falls down a well in an anonymous American town and suddenly the entire country is transfixed by the rescue effort.
Why do we care about somebody we never heard of before this event?
I think it’s because we like to know what’s possible for human beings when confronted by terrible dangers. A child has vanished from the surface of the earth. Can he be rescued? We want to know what humans beings can accomplish when they are at their best.
The tale of Colten Snyder is one of those stories.
Opening Remarks of Special Master Denise K. Vowell
Special Master Vowell began by stating the proceeding was being held to answer the question of whether immunizations caused the pervasive developmental delay of Colten Snyder, the third test case under the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
The court will also resolve the general question of whether childhood vaccines can cause the neuro-developmental problems of autism spectrum disorders.
Because the evidence developed in this case will inform the other two test cases, Special Masters George Hastings and Patricia Campbell-Smith sat in on this case.
Opening Statement of Mr. Thomas Powers – Attorney for Family (Petitioners)
Mr. Powers began by reminding the court that the standard for petitioners is preponderance of the evidence, which means more than fifty percent, or whether the claim is more likely than not.
He believes the evidence will show that the measles virus introduced to Colten Snyder through his MMR shot persisted in his gut and brain, thus causing his neurological problems. Powers claimed that the finding of the measles virus in the cerebral spinal fluid of Colten Snyder is powerful circumstantial evidence that the virus caused his injury.
Colten’s medical history is consistent with the idea that the measles virus via the MMR shot was a significant contributing factor to his injuries.
Powers next discussed the “Daubert” standard of proof for scientific and medical information. According to Powers, Daubert is not about ultimate conclusions, but whether the research is backed by the scientific method and processes. He claimed there had been many backhanded attacks on the researchers and clinicians who had appeared on behalf of the petitioners, and he found the claims against these researchers to be personally offensive. Powers said they were qualified researchers and were presenting good science. Just because the petitioner’s theory of autism causation is new and isn’t consensus doesn’t make it junk science.
Much of the government’s case is based on a smear campaign against Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who is not even a party to these proceedings. Dr. Wakefield is facing disciplinary action in the United Kingdom, but until that proceeding is concluded no conclusions should be drawn. In addition, the government can get information from the U.K. government (sovereign to sovereign), while the families cannot get information from Dr. Wakefield’s defense team.
Powers claimed he’d love to bring evidence from an earlier U.K. case alleging a link between childhood vaccinations and neurological problems to this proceeding, but is prevented by that court’s order of confidentiality. Referring to that earlier case, Powers claimed that witnesses on the plaintiff’s side were subjected to intimidation by the pharmaceutical companies which significantly interfered with the ability to do their jobs, teach their students, or run their labs.
Powers finished by asserting petitioners were going to put on a case with good evidence, from parents, clinicians, and researchers which support their view. The allegations of junk science and smear campaigns should have no place in this proceeding.
Opening Statement by Voris E. Johnson, Jr. – Attorney for Government (Respondent)
Mr. Johnson, Jr. began by asking the court to focus on science and to evaluate the reliability and validity of the evidence submitted.
Under the “Daubert” standard evidence is not scientifically reliable if it’s nothing more than unsupported speculation or subjective belief. However, the court must also probe whether the evidence has been confirmed by others. Johnson claims there is a gap between the data submitted and what the petitioners are claiming, and claimed their evidence would not be admissible in a civil court.
Mr. Johnson, Jr. says scientists know what the measles virus looks like in the brain, as well as an auto-immune reaction, and neither of them resembles the clinical picture presented by Colten Snyder.
He also took issue with the petitioner’s dismissal of the previous testimony of Dr. Bustin, one of the world’s foremost experts on PCR, claiming that the techniques used by the Unigenetics Lab of Dr. O’Leary to detect the measles virus were flawed.
Johnson concluded by asserting petitioner’s evidence is not scientifically reliable and cannot satisfy the burden of proof.
Direct Examination of Mrs. Katherine Snyder by Mr. Charles Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for Family (Petitioner)
Colten Snyder was born on January 9, 1997 in Florida. There were no complications with the birth and the only problem Katherine Snyder had during her pregnancy was high blood pressure. Colten has three older siblings.
Mrs. Snyder has nine nieces and nephews who live within three miles of Colten and these children interacted well with Colten. The families saw each other frequently and Colten’s appetite was good. Colten has a cousin who is nine months older than him and the two of them played together regularly.
Colten developed normally, having eye contact, facial expressions, and responded to people. He had a formula intolerance but after going on breast milk he did fine. Colten rolled over at four months, sat up between six and seven months, and was walking at ten months. At ten months he also started developing words and was using about fifteen or twenty before his MMR shot at the age of sixteen months.
When Colten was taken for his MMR shot on April 23, 1998 he was getting over being sick with a throat infection and was still being treated with an anti-biotic.
The first sign that something was wrong after his MMR shot was that the leg in which he’d received the shot became red, swollen, and warm to the touch. He also escalated into having spiking hot fevers, one of which Mrs. Snyder recorded as being 104.8 degrees.
Within the first thirty days of getting his MMR shot Colten began screaming all night long, would throw himself backwards, and was inconsolable. He didn’t respond to his name, had no eye contact, no facial expressions, and while he still had some words, they eventually disappeared.
Colten also developed diarrhea so severe it caused horrible, blistering rashes on his bottom. Because of dehydration Colten was hospitalized for two days. He was not eating, still had spiking hot fevers, and was losing weight. He cried all night long, and Mrs. Snyder has a vivid memory of Memorial Day of 1998 when Colten simply lay limp and lifeless in her arms during a family event.
From that point Colten got progressively worse. He became withdrawn and would play with his toys in a repetitive manner, very different from the way in which he’d played with them before his MMR shot. As an example, Mrs. Snyder recalled how Colten would play with a toy barn set, taking the horse out of the barn and having him gallop around. After his MMR shot Colten would simply take the horse in and out of barn,
constantly opening and closing the barn doors. Mrs. Snyder kept taking him to the pediatrician, but the pediatrician thought Colten probably had nothing more than discipline issues. Mrs. Snyder wondered if Colten had a hearing problem.
Finally, when these problems had not gone away by the age of two, the pediatrician agreed there might be something wrong with Colten and made a referral for a developmental evaluation. At this time Colten was still dragging his right leg, had profuse amounts of diarrhea, and was continuing to lose weight. His speech and sociability had also not returned to their pre-MMR levels.
In order to try and stimulate Colten’s facial expressions, Mrs. Snyder immersed him in her sister-in-law’s daycare program. However, Colten would simply go into a corner and play by himself. If somebody moved one of his toys he’d have a severe meltdown and be unreachable.
Colten’s hearing evaluation came back normal, but the developmental evaluation showed he had a Pervasive Developmental Disorder on the scale of autism and suggested he be re-evaluated in six months. Colten was also referred to a speech therapist, Cathy Timlin.
During a conversation with Ms. Timlin, she suggested Mrs. Snyder might want to contact Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, a physician specializing in autism who was working with one of her clients. Mrs. Snyder had not heard of Dr. Bradstreet before, but contacted his office, filled out the evaluation forms, and got the recommended tests run for Colten. Mrs. Snyder and Colten met with Dr. Bradstreet three months later.
Colten was already on a gluten/casein free diet at the time he met with Dr. Bradstreet. Based on the evaluation and test results, Dr. Bradstreet recommended secretin injections along with a few supplements. After Colten started secretin injections he finally began sleeping through the night, and glimpses of his old self began to appear. His diarrhea was much better, and there was a little more eye contact and facial expressions. This all took place prior to Colten’s third birthday.
Around Colten’s third birthday a test was run to see if Colten had anti-bodies to myelin basic protein, a key component of the neurological system. He tested high for anti-bodies to myelin basic protein (which meant his body was attacking the myelin sheaths of nerve cells responsible for proper neurological function) and he was recommended for intravenous immuno-globulin (IVIG) treatments.
(Author’s note – IVIG contains the pooled immuno-globulins extracted from the plasma of over a thousand blood donors. IVIG's effects last between 2 weeks and 3 months. It is mainly used as treatment for immune deficiencies, for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and for acute infections. )
A few months after Colten’s third birthday he began IVIG treatments and he started to come back. He started to have bits and pieces of words rather than grunts, and started having facial expressions. His repetitive play was less rigid, he was getting better at responding to his name, and he was starting to play more with family and siblings. By the age of five Colten had progressed so well that Mrs. Snyder decided to enroll him in a pre-kindergarten class without telling the teacher about his history. Colten received good daily reports from his pre-kindergarten class.
There were times the family wasn’t able to afford the IVIG treatments and Colten would regress. The longer he went without the IVIG the more pronounced his autistic symptoms would become. He’d lose words he knew, say them in the wrong order, have slurry speech, or talk so fast you couldn’t understand him. He’d also lose the sensation of knowing he had to go to the bathroom.
When the IVIG treatments were resumed he’d slowly come back, then make even more gains than before. Colten is now ten years old and is sporadically on IVIG. He was released from speech therapy at the age of six, but gets a check-up every few years to make sure he’s still on target.
Mrs. Snyder says that today Colten has a wonderful personality and is like a scientist in that he can remember anything. He has close friends, but can have difficulty with them if he doesn’t get his IVIG treatments on schedule. Sometimes the Snyders do not have health insurance and they need to have Colten’s treatments paid for by Dr. Bradstreet’s non-profit foundation.
Mrs. Snyder saw a connection between Colten and his MMR shot and this belief existed prior to learning about the theory that autism was connected to vaccinations, or had discussed the case with any lawyers.
Cross-examination of Mrs. Katherine Snyder by Ms. Katherine Esposito – Attorney for the Government (Respondent)
Ms. Esposito began by complimenting the Snyders on their care and dedication to Colten.
Next, she elicited from Mrs. Snyder that Colten’s three siblings are half-siblings. A note in Mrs. Snyder’s file suggested she suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. While Mrs. Snyder said she was extremely tired during Colten’s ordeal and told that to her doctor, she never had chronic fatigue syndrome. During Colten’s pregnancy Mrs. Snyder took Zoloft for a month because of headaches. She also has a memory of having a few yeast infections.
Other areas which were touched upon were that nobody smoked in the house, the family had an air filter in Colten’s room, and they owned a dog. A note in a doctor’s file suggesting Colten had pica was discounted.
Mrs. Snyder was questioned about the reasons she brought Colten to the emergency ward in the month after receiving his MMR shot. She replied it was because of his high fever, not really because of his leg dragging, or lack of facial expressions.
Colten is still on a gluten/casein free diet and they raise their own animals and buy organic fruits and vegetables. He does not eat fish.
When Colten was first brought to Dr. Bradstreet he was on a few supplements (COQ10, SuperNuThera, and flax) and may have also been experimenting with other supplements. She brought up Colten’s MMR reaction to Dr. Bradstreet, just as she had done with his pediatrician and emergency room personnel. Her pediatrician always blamed Colten’s problems on something else.
Dr. Bradstreet’s non-profit foundation ministry helped pay for one of Colten’s IVIG treatments as well as some other expenses totaling $31,328.
Direct Examination of Mrs. Samantha Jane Noonan by Mr. Christopher Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for Family (Petitioner)
Mrs. Noonan is Colten Snyder’s aunt. Katherine Snyder is her only sister-in-law and the two of them have been friends since high school. Mrs. Noonan lives about three miles away from the Snyders, and has two children, aged sixteen and eleven. The eleven-year-old buy Austin is only nine months older that Colten and the two of them are good friends.
Mrs. Noonan is the owner and operator of a licensed daycare facility in her home. She is authorized to take care of up to six children under the age of five. Since he was family, Colten was on the roster since before he was born, although he was only there periodically.
After Colten got his MMR shot she remembered talking about it with Katherine, mostly about whether the fevers he got afterwards were normal.
Prior to getting his MMR shot she recalls Colten as being on-target in his development, he loved to be held, she slept normally, had a good appetite, and played just like any other baby.
Her first significant interaction with him was about a month after his MMR shot, during the family’s Memorial Day get-together when he was totally non-responsive and lethargic in his mother’s arms.
When she tried to take care of him later he had no eye contact and it was as if he was a different child. His play was repetitive and he required constant attention. She recalls the beginning of the gluten/casein free diet and how she wanted to make sure he didn’t eat any of the wrong foods. After they started the diet he was much more calm and controlled and could be around other children, but didn’t want to play with them.
Mrs. Noonan recalled him starting with Dr. Bradstreet and how he was slowly able to tolerate one-on-one play with another child. It was a gradual change, but there were improvements.
When Colten began IVIG treatments she started to see more significant changes in him. He started to interact with a group of children at the day-care and seemed to be more a part of the family. He started speaking, slowly at first, and it was often difficult to understand him unless you were around him a good deal. She recalled that during this period he also began to recapture facial expressions and became potty-trained.
At the age of ten now, Colten is a very different child. He’s extremely jovial these days and just ran for class treasurer. She was proud of him because he’s usually shy about having his picture taken, but did for his election poster.
During those times when his parents didn’t have insurance for his IVIG treatments he’d become a different child-uncooperative, avoided kids, and didn’t seem to want to talk. When he gets his IVIG treatments he seems to return to normal.
The government had no cross-examination for Mrs. Noonan. (Interesting, huh?)
Direct Examination of Ms. Katherine Timlin by Mr. Christopher Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for the Government (Respondent)
Ms. Timlin was Colten’s speech therapist when he was first diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder on the scale of autism.
Ms. Timlin met Colten in April of 1999 when he was referred for speech and language delays as well as extreme temper tantrums. On his team he had a pediatrician, psychologist, her speech therapist services, occupational therapist, nurse case manager, and a family service coordinator.
In her initial observations she noted Colten had a three to five word vocabulary, but did not use two words together. He would obey some commands and his parents reported he used more words when he was younger, but then stopped. She noted he seemed very frustrated when not understood and frequently had tantrums during which he would throw herself backwards.
In the course of her evaluation she administered the Pre-School Language, Scale Three test, which is divided into three segments. Although he was 26 months old at the time of her examination, his auditory comprehension level was that of a 7 month old. His use of language was at a 10 month level. His overall language skills were that of a 9 month old. When all these scores were combined he was determined to be functioning at a 9 month level, which given his age meant he had a severe language delay.
At the beginning of her treatment of Colten he wouldn’t sit down at a table or engage in a picture exchange system. He preferred to play ritualistically with toys and had no imaginative or parallel play. During this time she saw Colten twice a week for 30 minute sessions. She sometimes discussed Colten’s progress with Mrs. Snyder, and she found Mrs. Snyder to be an accurate reporter on her child’s condition.
Ms. Timlin’s notes reflect that Colten had already started the gluten/casein free diet before their 5/28/99 session and she recorded he seemed much less irritable and more compliant. In the notes from her session of 6/1/99 Colten wasn’t screaming any more and the dark rings under his eyes had vanished. She explained that she’d seen a similar pattern with another girl with food allergies when she went on a specific diet to avoid allergens. She had also seen similar results with two other patients. In her report from 6/11/99 she saw no ritualistic behaviors from him during their session.
Another mom had reported good results with their child from the work of Dr. Bradstreet and for this reason Ms. Timlin recommended Dr. Bradstreet to Katherine Snyder. After starting work with Dr. Bradstreet she saw additional gains with Colten. He was echoing words back to her, but not in mindless imitation, but with what appeared to be communicative intent.
At about 34 months she started to hear more and more clear imitations of single words with purpose. By December of 1999 she was getting spontaneous words and phrases. The type of progress Colten was making was rare. The only other time she saw a patient make such significant gains was when they had initiated the gluten/casein free diet.
In March of 2000, after Colten had started IVIG treatments she was getting spontaneous “I want” requests along with improved intelligibility. Ms. Noonan saw a clear benefit from the IVIG treatments, and when the Snyders didn’t have the necessary insurance coverage and Colten didn’t get his treatments, she saw a significant regression.
When Colten was 6 years and 3 months old she administered the Pre-School Language Four Test (the updated version of the previous test she’d given at the beginning of Colten’s speech therapy). His expressive skills were those of a child 6 years and 6 months old, and his receptive language were those of a child 6 years and 9 months old.
Cross-Examination of Ms. Katherine Timlin by Ms. Katherine Esposito – Attorney for Government (Respondent)
Ms. Esposito elicited from Ms. Timlin that she is not a medical doctor and does not diagnose autism. She diagnoses speech and language disorders and delays.
Her first interaction with Colten came approximately a year after Colten received his MMR shot.
The referral to Dr. Bradstreet was based on the experience of another parent whose child was a patient of Ms. Kimlin. She agreed that IVIG treatments are not standard protocol for language delays. She also agreed that the behavior of speech-delayed kids improves if speech improves.
Questions from Special Master Denise K. Vowell
The Special Master asked Ms. Timlin what percentage of kids on her caseload is autistic. Of the 30 children Ms. Timlin has on her caseload, about half are autistic, or have autistic spectrum disorders.
Ms. Timlin made a comment that it didn’t used to be like that and Special Master Vowell asked her to elaborate. Several years ago with the same caseload of 30 kids, Ms. Timlin would have maybe 1 or 2 autistic kids at the most.
The only other remaining issue was clarification about some comments in her notes.
Redirect Examination of Ms. Katherine Timlin by Mr. Charles Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for Family (Petitioner)
The only issue which was highlighted was that Colten’s progress was more marked than she would normally see in the course of treating a patient.
Direct Examination of Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet by Mr. Christopher Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for the Family (Petitioner)
Dr. Bradstreet is a medical doctor licensed to practice in Florida and Arizona. He’s a family practitioner and has chosen to limit his practice to children with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. Colten Snyder is his patient.
Prior to meeting with Colten and his mother in July of 1999, the Snyders filled out child evaluation forms and submitted them to Dr. Bradstreet’s office. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate Colten’s developmental disorders and what might be done on a bio-medical basis.
Numerous aspects of Colten’s history stood out to Dr. Bradstreet. Colten’s normal development as noted by the mother was confirmed by the pediatric records of Dr. Sahai. Mrs. Snyder noted in Colten;s history that he had a reaction to his MMR shot at the age of approximately fifteen months. The decline after the MMR shot was confirmed by his pediatrician as well as the Easter Seals team which later evaluated him.
In his own examination of Colten, Dr. Bradstreet observed limited speech, some eye contact, and the dark circles under his eyes referred to by Ms. Timlin, the speech therapist. Based on previous medical records, his own examination, and Colten’s diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder with some indications of autism, Dr. Bradstreet gave an initial working diagnosis of autism.
Colten’s labs showed yeast overgrowth in his intestinal tract as well as metabolites from clostridium bacteria. His medical records showed he was normal on the day of his MMR shot, followed by a decline reflected in the records best by his weight dropping from the 50th percentile to the 10th percentile in a number of months, even though he was at the 95th percentile for height. His tests were also positive for markers of rheumatoid arthritis, some degree of eosinophils, and an elevated SED rate. All of these were indicators to Dr. Bradstreet of a disregulated immune system. He noted that Dr. Wenk had labeled Colten as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder at the age of two and a half, and while he had noted the autistic tendencies, did not believe they were enough to label him as fully autistic. It is not unusual, especially at that time, to have waited until the child was at least three before giving a diagnosis of autism.
When Colten was later evaluated by Dr. Hartmann he was given a diagnosis of PDD on the level of autism. His score on the CARS autism rating scale was 36, which placed him in the mild to moderate range for autism.
Dr. Bradstreet was also interested in Colten’s progress while on the gluten/casein free diet. During the five months he’d been on the diet he’d gained about a month of development, while the previous five months he’d had no improvement at all. Colten appeared to improve from changes to his diet, the use of anti-fungals, as well as the use of secretin. These changes were noted not just by Dr. Bradstreet, but from family reports and updates from Colten’s therapy team. After the start of IVIG treatments Colten began to make remarkable, dramatic improvements.
Dr. Bradstreet learned about IVIG treatments from Dr. Gupta of the University of California at Irvine, one of the world’s foremost experts on IVIG, and Dr. Jane El-Dahr, a pediatric immunologist at Tulane University. Dr. Gupta’s nurse actually trained Dr. Bradstreet’s nurse in the proper administration of IVIG. Colten met Dr. Gupta’s selection criteria not simply because of his history of immunological problems, but also because he tested as having one of the highest antibody titers to myelin basic protein that Dr. Bradstreet had ever seen.
Colten has gone from being severely delayed to being a student who gets As and Bs in his school subjects. He’s charming, sociable, and has wonderful language. During those times when Colten’s parents weren’t able to afford IVIG treatments or they didn’t have insurance, Colten regressed. These instances only served to reinforce Dr. Bradstreet’s belief that autism is autoimmune in nature.
Based on all of Colten’s history, his labs, and his recovery, Dr. Bradstreet believes that Colten was exposed to mercury which allowed him to become infected with the measles virus from the MMR shot, and the measles virus persisted in his system, causing both gut and brain inflammation.
Dr. Bradstreet felt it was important to go over the information supporting his opinion that Colten had a measles infection in both his gut and brain. He ordered a spinal tap and gut biopsy for Colten because of the dramatic change in him following his MMR shot. He actually traveled to the O’Leary lab in Dublin, Ireland to review the procedures and methodologies. Dr. Bradstreet noted research from the University of Chicago which found inflammatory markers in the cerebral spinal fluid of autistic children. Colten tested positive for the measles virus in his cerebral spinal fluid.
Gut biopsies are a common medical procedure and the findings from Dr. Thek, a gastrologist, were significant. Dr. Thek found inflammation significantly greater than nodular hyperplasia, and noted that there were place in the tissue in which there had actually been hemorrhages. The pathology showed eosinophillic esophagitis in the terminal illeum and a large germinal lymphoid center. This is a pathological diagnosis of eosinophillic gastroenteritis which matches up with other evidence of immune dysregulation.
The gut samples which were sent to the Unigenetics Lab of Dr. O’Leary in Dublin, Ireland came back positive for the measles virus.
Dr. Bradstreet believes Colten has measles virus induced encephalopathy from the persistence of the measles virus in his central nervous system. He believes the immune disregulation is secondary to the viral persistence, and this disregulation is caused by thimerosal. He believes thimerosal played a part in Colten’s autism because of the finding of abnormal porphyrins in Colten’s system, a marker of mercury toxicity.
In Dr. Bradstreet’s opinion, without exposure to the measles virus in his cerebral spinal fluid and intestinal tract, Colten would not have had his neurological and gastrointestinal problems.
Cross-Examination of Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet by Mr. Vo Johnson – Attorney for Government (Respondent)
Dr. Bradstreet first saw Colten at the age of two and a half, approximately 15 months after his 18 month MMR shot. Dr. Bradstreet’s estimated that somewhere between 40 and 60% of parents respond in the affirmative that vaccines were related to their child’s problems in the initial intake form.
Mr. Johnson questioned Dr. Bradstreet as to why he thought Colten had autism. Dr. Bradstreet went through what he’d observed, as well as noting it was consistent with Colten’s previous diagnosis of PDD with indications of autism.
Mr. Johnson went through a list of some of the supplements prescribed by Dr. Bradstreet and others, such as Nystatin, oral immunoglobulin, DMSA, Diflucan, Acyclovir, secretin, IVIG, Baygam, Vermox, alpha-lipoic acid, flax, and N-acetyl cysteine.
He asked if Dr. Bradstreet was aware that Colten’s pediatrician, Dr. Sahai had expressed concern about the number of supplements Colten was receiving. Dr. Bradstreet never heard any such concerns expressed.
Mr. Johnson then questioned Dr. Bradstreet about Kirkman Labs, which was cited by the FDA in 2002 for unsubstantiated claims about its taurine product. Dr. Bradstreet replied that while he sometimes used their products, he was not in any other way connected to the company.
The next group of questions revolved around the use of IVIG therapy. Colten had conflicting test results as to the presence of the measles virus in his cerebral spinal fluid, but Dr. Bradstreet pointed out that the one which had given a negative result was taken two years after IVIG therapy had started and the treatment had pushed the virus to undetectable levels.
Dr. Bradstreet estimated that about 30% to 40% of his patients get chelated, and that this percentage has stayed roughly the same over the years. Colten tried chelation, but did not respond well to it, and the treatment was discontinued.
Mr. Johnson then asked if Dr. Bradstreet ever performed exorcisms on children. Dr. Bradstreet replied he did not.
Bradstreet was next questioned about the various legal entities through which he treats children, namely the “Good News Doctor Foundation” and the “International Child Development Resource”, his non-profit foundations, and the “Creation Zone”, the for-profit arm of his medical practice.
Johnson questioned Dr. Bradstreet about porphyrin testing as it relates to mercury exposure and Bradstreet directed him to research published by the University of Washington and Dr. Nataf’s group in Paris, France. Dr. Bradstreet uses the Lab Phillipe August in France and a test costs roughly $130.
Dr. Bradstreet knows Dr. Andrew Wakefield and in 2003 they collaborated on a paper which included Colten’s lab results from Unigenetics and his beliefs about the MMR shot and immune dysregulation. Dr. Wakefield was also a consultant at one time for the International Child Development Resource. Bradstreet acknowledges that his article with Wakefield contained a mistake in the conflicts section when he put down the wrong year in which the Colten’s filed their action under the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
The cost of testing Colten’s samples by Unigenetics was paid mostly by Dr. Bradstreet’s non-profit foundation. Dr. Bradstreet was an expert in the United Kingdom litigation concerning some of these same issues, and recalls being paid about $21,000 for his work.
In 2004 Dr. Bradstreet co-authored an article with Dr. Geir and his son Mark about the mercury burden of autistic children. In that article he did not claim his work in the U.K. litigation was a conflict because in the U.K litigation he had been giving testimony about the measles virus.
Dr. Bradstreet admitted he’d had claims pending in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding for his own son and daughter, but those claims had been dismissed. As part of a larger proceeding, he had also filed against vaccine manufacturers, power companies, and the American Dental Association to remove mercury from their products. He did not report these as conflicts because all of the cases had been dismissed.
Bradstreet is not an immunologist, gastrologist, neurologist, or virologist, and does not have hospital privileges.
Questions from Special Master Denise Vowell
Special Master Vowell questioned him first about the differing diagnostic codes in his records. Bradstreet responded that the diagnoses were not changing, they were simply looking at different aspects of Colten’s health. A master list was kept of all the differing diagnostic codes.
Bradstreet was next asked his opinion of his definition of chronic diarrhea, which he defined as loose, watery stools lasting more than two weeks.
There was some discussion of hair test results from Great Plains Laboratory (mercury at low end of reference range) and the positive result from a chelation provocation challenge by Doctors’ Data.
Dr. Bradstreet reviewed how Colten had an allergy to amoxicillin, and also negative reactions to several supplements. Colten always had his medications compounded to avoid negative reactions to fillers.
Colten also received some hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at Bradstreet’s office and a copy had been provided to the Special Master.
In response to questioning about differing results on immune tests, Bradstreet replied that Colten’s positive results on two immune tests and positive response to IVIG treatments were enough to convince him that Colten had an immune problem.
Redirect Examination of Dr. Bradstreet by Mr. Wickersham, Sr. – Attorney for Family (Petitioner)
Wickersham elicited from Dr. Bradstreet that he has never engaged in exorcisms in the care and treatment of patients.
Re-Cross Examination of Dr. Bradstreet by Mr. Voris Johnson – Attorney for Government (Respondent)
Mr. Johnson asked a few questions about the results of the hair mercury test and where Colten might have been exposed to mercury. Dr. Bradstreet admitted that mercury was ubiquitous in the environment, but argued that vaccines are the biggest single exposure for children.
Thoughts on this Day of Testimony
The court heard from the mother, Mrs. Snyder, the aunt, the speech therapist, and the treating physician, but one fact stood out from all the rest.
Colten Snyder had been seriously impaired (26 months old and the communicative abilities of a 9 month old), and as of the date of the hearing was a normal ten-year-old. He has returned to our world.
It's hard to argue with success. And probably even harder to argue that those who performed this heroic rescue are just looking for somebody to blame.
Kent Heckenlively is Legal Editor for Age of Autism.