Sometimes, when you least expect it, you get news that makes you stop and think about someone you care about, who taught you something important. Recently I learned of the death of my co-author of the ground breaking book he and I wrote together and published in 1985: DPT: A Shot in the Dark.
Harris was only 77 years old when he died on October 28, 2009. He had struggled for 12 years with the debilitating effects of a brain hemorrhage he suffered at age 65 while he was in Paris. It was a paralyzing stroke that would end his remarkable career.
When I last spoke with Harris two months before his death, I had called him to check out a rumor that he had passed away. With characteristic wit and clarity, he laughed and quoted Mark Twain, saying "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Although the stroke had left him paralyzed, it did not rob him of his personality or ability to recall details from the past. And every single time we had spoken in the decade following his stroke, Harris wanted to talk about the journey of discovery we took together when we wrote what would become the first major, well documented book examining the scientific and clinical evidence that vaccination can and does cause brain inflammation, permanent brain damage and death for some. Among his many accomplishments, Harris considered our collaboration on that book - which was published exactly a quarter century ago - to be his greatest one.
I remember the first time I spoke with Harris. It was the fall of 1982. I had been researching the side effects of DPT vaccine and interviewing parents of vaccine injured children for eight months following the broadcast of the emmy award winning television documentary DPT: Vaccine Roulette earlier that year.... click here HERE to read the entire commentary and watch a video.