Statement: Isabella Thomas Mother of 2 Lancet Study Children
“It is now time for the truth to be told”
I, as a parent of two children in the Lancet study, have had to speak out about the vicious attacks on Dr. Andrew Wakefield by his own government, the US government and the media blaming him for the measles outbreak in Wales. The Lancet study was not paid for by the Legal Services Commission and our children were referred to the Royal Free Hospital because they were very sick and would still have had investigations done even if they were not part of the Lancet research as many more children have done after the Lancet study by other consultants at the Royal Free and other hospitals in London.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield listened to the concerns of many parents about their sick children suffering with bowel conditions and a form of Autism, a bowel condition and brain damage that was ignored by other professionals. These parents were demonstrably ‘black listed’ for saying their children became ill after the MMR vaccine.
Parents were speaking about this situation years before Dr. Wakefield came on the scene and our government also knew about these concerns years before the Lancet study yet they did nothing to investigate, leaving hundreds of other children at risk of side effects. Our government did not listen to parents but accused them of making the symptoms up and threatening to take their children away if they did not stop making a connection with MMR vaccine. As a result, these children and young adults live in a great deal of pain to this day (one doctor saying to my son ‘we believe you believe you are in pain’).
There is much more I could say about the experience of my family and others but I want to make it clear that the children’s claims in relation to MMR were supported by many other experts in several disciplines all of whom provided reports for the court. I attach a list of them. These experts would all have given evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice on behalf of hundreds of children we claim were damaged by the MMR vaccine had the cases been allowed to continue. In addition, the solicitors representing the claimants were in touch with and drawing on the expertise from many more than these, but many did not want to be formal experts. I don't know how much the experts listed were paid, but they were all paid fees just as Dr. Wakefield was in the normal way that experts are paid in litigation cases (and probably much less than the defendants’ experts were paid!).
MMR Claimant Experts (who produced reports that were served)
Professor M B Abou-Donia
Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and a Professor of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Centre
Pharmacology and Neurobiology
Dr Kenneth Aitken
K.Aitken Consultancy, Independent Consultant
Child Clinical Neuropsychologist
Professor William Banks
Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, both departments at Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Pharmacology and Physiology
Dr. Edward Bilsky
Associate Professor of Pharmacology, University of New England College of Medicine
James Jeffrey Bradstreet, MD, Fellow, AAFP
International Child Development Resource Center Adjunct, Professor of Neurosciences, Department of Psychology, Stetson, University Celebration, Florida
Vera S. Byers, M.D., Ph.D
President of Immunology, Inc
Professor Neal Castagnoli, Jr.
Peters Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Dr A Peter Fletcher MB BS PhD FFPM (Dist)
Former regulator Industry Expert
Professor Noam Harpaz
Associate Attending Pathologist, The Mount Sinai Hospital, Director, Division of Gastrointestinal Pathology, The Mount Sinai Hospital, and Associate Professor of Pathology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
Professor Ronald C. Kennedy, Ph.D
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center located in Lubbock, Texas
Marcel Kinsbourne, D.M. (OXON), M.R.C.P. (LOND).
Research Professor of Cognitive Studies at Tufts University and Professor of Psychology at the New School University in New York
Arthur Krigsman MD New York University Hospital
Dr John March
Head of Mycoplasmology at the Moredun Research Institute (MRI), Edinburgh Vaccine development
Professor John J Marchalonis
Professor and Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona
Microbiologist and Immunologist
Professor Johnjoe McFadden
Professor of Molecular Genetics at the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford
John H. Menkes, M.D Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles Director Emeritus of Pediatric Neurology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Dr Scott M Montgomery
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Professor John J. O’Leary, MD, DPhil, MSc, BSc, FRCPath, FFPathRCPI
Professor of Pathology at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Histopathologist, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and the Coombe Women’s Hospital
Professor Samuel Shapiro MB, FRCP(E)
Visiting Professor of Epidemiology, Mailman School of School of Public Health, Columbia University. Emeritus Director, Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University School of Public Health
Dr Orla Sheils
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Pathology, University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD).
Dr Fiona Scott BSc (Hons) PhD C.Psychol
University of Cambridge
Dr Carol Stott BSc (Hons) PhD (CANTAB) C.Psychol
University of Cambridge
Professor SAMY SUISSA
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University and Royal Victoria Hospital Montreal, Canada
Professor Richard Tedder
Head of the Joint Department of Virology, University College London. Also Clinical Lead for the UCLH NHS Trust Department of Virology and Clinical Head of Microbiology Services UCLH NHS Trust
Professor Edward J Thompson Doctor of Medicine (MD, FRCP,FRCPath) and a Doctor of Science (DSc,PhD)
Head of the Department of Neuro-Immunology at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery
Professor John Walker- Smith
Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Gastroenterology in the University of London
Dr. Troy D. Wood
Associate Professor in Chemistry and Adjunct Faculty in Structural Biology at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
Chemistry and Structural Biology
The court case was not heard and parents did not lose. Legal Aid decided to pull their funds for the sick children at the last minute. Legal Aid is government run and the government took out an indemnity to protect the drug companies from parents suing and we as parents had no idea that the litigation case was set up to fail right from the start. The government could not afford for the children to win and thus they could not afford for the statements from the experts to be read out in court. I have these reports and am told they are sealed and I am not allowed to produce them here, however tempted. Below is a ‘summing up by Justice Keith when a few of us parents tried to continue the case without the support of Legal Aid and spoke in front of a room full of drug company representatives about our sick children at the Royal Courts of Justice. I was very proud to be part of that group.
"It is important for the claimants’ litigation friends to understand why their children’s claims are not being allowed to proceed. It is not because the court thinks that the claims have no merit. Although this litigation has been going on for very many years, the question whether the claims have merit has never been addressed by the court. The reason why the claims have not been allowed to proceed is because everyone has realistically recognised for some time that it is just not practicable for the claims to proceed without public funding. With no realistic prospect of public funding being restored for any of the claims save for the two which are now to proceed as unitary actions, the dissolution of the litigation became inevitable.
Before leaving the litigation, I wish to express my thanks to the defendants’ legal teams for the assistance they have given the court. Although at all times advancing the interests of their clients as is to be expected in adversarial litigation, they recognised the needs of the claimants’ litigation friends, and provided them with all the information they needed, as well as affording them the occasional indulgence. The assembly of the various bundles of documents, and the preparation of the skeleton arguments, were of an exceptionally high order. But my final words must go to the claimants’ litigation friends. As I said in an earlier judgment, no-one can fail to have enormous sympathy for the parents of the children to whom this litigation has related. They have spoken eloquently and with great feeling of the tragedies which befell them when their children became ill. They blame the vaccines produced by the defendants for damaging their children, and they are bitter over their inability to proceed with their claims. But when they came to court, they always expressed themselves in a measured and moderate tone, despite their disenchantment with the Legal Services Commission which they believe has let them down, and at all times they treated the court with courtesy and respect. They made my difficult task less wearing that it might otherwise have been. I am grateful to them for that." Justice Keith.
Dr Andrew Wakefield has made front page news over the last few days in some of the national papers prompting an immediate reaction that it is lunacy to give him space, and that what he says is "balderdash". What is highly questionable (and vindictive) is to blame him for all the ills of MMR vaccine because he published a paper in the Lancet 15 years ago (which has neither been "discredited" nor did it claim that MMR causes autism) and because he suggested that children should be given the single measles vaccine.
The association between autism and MMR was never assessed by the UK courts because of the withdrawal of legal aid. In the USA and Italy the courts have awarded compensation for MMR vaccine damage. The USA also has an expert committee for assessing claims of vaccine damage and they have compensated other parents for damage caused by MMR which did not then need to go through the full legal process.
How long does it take the UK government to learn that cover-up is invariably a more serious matter than the original crime or mistake? It's time the spotlight was turned on Professor David Salisbury, who had little or no background in immunization and had only been in post a short time when he reassured his committee that they did not need to worry about the adverse effects of Pluserix despite its withdrawal in Canada and serious reports from Japan. It's time to turn the spotlight on the process by which I believe Brian Deer was recruited by the Department of Health to help rescue their MMR programme. It is, of course, easy to conjecture and it needs a full enquiry which must come sooner or later, the results of which demand full media attention.
I am aware that in 1992 two of the three brands of MMR were withdrawn overnight on the safety ground that they caused viral meningitis and that when MMR was first introduced the Department of Health stated that the single vaccine would continue to be available. For their own reasons they changed their minds later. Had they not done so, those who had concerns could have continued to protect their children from measles and this present outbreak would not be happening.
I know that it is officially denied that there is any link between the vaccine and any form of autism (even though American and Italian courts appear to have accepted the link). What is not denied is that the rate of autism has increased substantially since the 1990s (from about one in 2500 to as many as one in 50). Instead of blaming Andrew Wakefield every time there is a measles outbreak why does the Government not put funding into finding the cause of this distressing condition? If it can be shown that the cause of the increase in autism has absolutely nothing to do with vaccines, then that will remove the suspicion that it does and you can all forget that Andrew Wakefield ever existed.
Governments should be putting huge resources into finding out what is causing this disabling condition which is putting an immense strain on families and draining the welfare resources of the UK and other countries, and attacking doctors and parents of telling lies
By not listening to the Experts, families and more importantly to the children then this in my opinion has to come into the category of “child abuse”.
Professor John Walker Smith, who was part of the Lancet team, was exonerated in March 2012 in the Autism MMR GMC Case. The GMC issued the following statement following the judgment “Mr. Justice Mitting has made a number of criticisms about the inadequacy of the reasons given by the panel for the decisions they made on the charges facing Professor Walker-Smith. The panel of medical and non-medical members, having heard all the evidence, were required to set out very clearly why they reached the decisions they did. They failed to do that in relation to key questions, including whether Professor Walker-Smith’s actions were undertaken for the purpose of medical practice or medical research and whether procedures performed on the children were clinically necessary. These were important points that needed to be addressed by the panel in the determination and the failure to do so was the major cause of Mr. Justice Mitting allowing the appeal”. (Extract of official GMC Statement).
In my opinion, this also stands for Dr. Wakefield who did not have the funds to challenge the GMC as Professor Walker-Smith did.
Mother of two boys who were part of the Lancet study
Dr Andrew Wakefield has had his sweet revenge by producing and showing the widely acclaimed documentary Vaxxed. The medical-pharmaceutical mafia and particularly its vaccine industry is under relentless attack by furious parents of vaccine-injured children and others who have taken up the fight. The vaccine poison pushers are desperate, which is why they are now pushing mandatory vaccination to ensure the survival of this over 200-year-old medical fraud, child abuse and crime against humankind. I eagerly await the day when the vaccine-industry is forced to shut down because the tide f public opinion has turned against this despicable money-making and chronic ill-health-promoting racket.
Posted by: Erwin Alber | March 01, 2017 at 08:22 AM
Thank you so much Isabella and Dr. Wakefield.
Evil prevails when good people do nothing.
Merck, Glaxo and their agents are evil.
Posted by: kws | February 21, 2017 at 10:38 AM
Well it's now 2017 and I only became aware of the whole issue surrounding MMR last year. I am glad that there is some movement with Robert Kennedy jnr speaking out. WHY SO LONG!
May I also add that the parents of damaged children are amazing as their lives also dramatically changed the day their precious loved ones were affected. I hope you see the day when men become men and speak the truth like Dr Wakefield has done.
Posted by: Roberta | February 19, 2017 at 05:23 AM
Thank you for your kind comments. We are all in this together and I want to say a big thank you to Dr. Wakefield and his family who gave up so much in standing by all of us in the battle for treatment and justice for our sick children and young adults.
Posted by: Isabella Thomas | April 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Those distinguished physicians whose testimonies where buried should come forward. If they individually or jointly know that the truth has been hidden from the public, that the British government has deliberately put political and economic interests above their citizens' interests, that children have and continue to be harmed, and if this list of doctors have kept silent while allowing Dr. Wakefield to carry the entire weight and solely bear the personal and professional cost of standing up to corruption penetrating all levels of government and it appears, to the court itself, then shame on them. They have a moral and I would think, legal responsibility to speak.
How do these people live with themselves?
Posted by: Linda | April 18, 2013 at 05:13 PM
"As a result, these children and young adults live in a great deal of pain to this day (one doctor saying to my son ‘we believe you believe you are in pain’)."
I say a prayer almost every day that there is a hell. Should there be one, a whole LOT of "medical experts" are going to know fully earned pain for a long, long time.
Posted by: Lou | April 18, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Cheers Isabella and family we all know the abuse you suffer from Brian Deer whenever he has the chance and he accuses informed parents on vaccines as stalkers. You only become a stalker when you highlight what the enemy is doing...
Also where it started from...
The Sunday Times campaign against Wakefield began in 2003 when section editor Paul Nuki approached Deer saying that he needed "something big" on "MMR" . Nuki was the son of Prof George Nuki who sat on the Committee on Safety on Medicines when MMR/Pluserix were first introduced in the late 1980s. Shortly afterwards Deer interviewed parent litigants under a false name. Unknown to Sunday Times readers Deer also pursued his own official complaints against Wakefield and colleagues and came to an arrangement with General Medical Council lawyers that he would not be named in the case, leaving him free to continue reporting as if an independent journalist . Deer’s obtaining and use of confidential data remains to be investigated. A statement on copyright on his website probably dating back some years states (my underlining.):
Posted by: Angus Files | April 18, 2013 at 01:41 PM
The additional scandal of this whole MMR issue is that the British Government do not fund any scientific research into the causes of autism and bowel disease denying people treatment by ignoring the symptoms that they suffer. The victims on the whole have severe communication issues which means they are unable to articulate what is causing their distress. Consequently people who claim to know about autism deny that the distress has a medical basis. Many of the children continue to suffer and those that are lucky enough to get medical treatment have a "sticking plaster" medical regime to try to alleviate the symptoms. To say no research has found a link between the MMR and autism and bowel disease adds insult to injury. One can only wonder how the critics of Dr Wakefield can justify their position because they clearly do not have a clue about our children. They try to weave their deceit around words like you may have vaccinated your children but you clearly are anti-vaccine now. This attitude reflects how ignorant they really are. BUT what is so worrying is that these ignorant people are stopping medical research for our seriously ill children. and thus new treatments.
Posted by: Ann Hewitt | April 18, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Brilliant Isabella!! One day soon I hope the world will listen to the parents
Posted by: Jill Southgate | April 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Very well said Isabella. Thank you for speaking up and setting the record straight in this whole sordid affair. The authorities involved should hang their heads in shame. Facts have been manipulated, ignored or hidden for far too long.
To use Dr Wakefield yet again as a convenient scapegoat is just a means of directing scrutiny away from the real issues – that the previous versions of MMR had to be withdrawn as they were causing encephalitis / meningitis and even death. This was long before Dr Wakefield voiced concerns. He listened to the parents – just like any GP would when faced by a parent and a sick child. How does any one know if the one in use presently is safe? We don't. Proper safety trials were not carried out. Our children are the real guinea pigs - and continue to be injured by this triple vaccine.
Thank you Dr Wakefield for being a lone voice of reason. And thank you Isabella for telling it how it is.
Posted by: Seonaid | April 18, 2013 at 06:52 AM
I salute you Isabella Thomas. You are a brave woman to have never given up or allowed others to change your course. It is you and others like you who will ensure victims of these atrocious crimes do not get marginalised further.
Your list of experts of course will have seen what the government powers have done to Dr Wakefield, alongside the atrocious treatment of parents of vaccine injured children by so many doctors and so called professionals. Others tell me that not all doctors know,realise, understand the vaccine problem ..... Ignorance by either parents or doctors is no longer a good enough excuse. Too many parents tell the same story, surely good science is about observation - but you need your eyes open to observe !!
Posted by: Letthembegot | April 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Thank you Isabella for the difference you make! You are an extraordinary humanitarian. Thank you for speaking out against this atrocity by injection. It's time for policy-makers and medical institutions to legitimize the vaccine injured child.
Posted by: MotherofPossibility | April 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Many have been intimidated, fear professional reprisal etc.
Posted by: For Fièvre | April 17, 2013 at 09:39 AM
What has become of these MMR Claimant Experts since the so-called "Wakefield affair" has developped ? Did they took position in the debate ? Did they keep silent ? [I understand that they are not allowed to express themselves specifically on the case, (or are they ?) ; this does not forbidd them to have a general opinion on the Affair]
Posted by: Fièvre | April 17, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Isabella Thomas Thank You for standing up for the truth, and thank you for the article.
It is hard to believe in this modern age, people of science still have Diets of Worms.
Posted by: Benedetta | April 17, 2013 at 08:25 AM
“It is now time for the truth to be told”
Thank you Isabella for "telling the truth" so eloquently.
The list of MMR Claimant Experts was indeed impressive .. no wonder they stopped the claimant's from proceeding forward.
Unfortunately, ending "funding" for the claimant's .. allowed them the opportunity to destroy the career and reputation of Dr. Wakefield.
Equally shameful tragedies .. for the claimants as well as Dr. Wakefield .. and .. someday .. hopefully in the near future .. the U.K. will have to publicly apologize for.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | April 17, 2013 at 06:52 AM