If you or your loved one were severely injured by a product, and you won a settlement to compensate for the injury, would you then become a spokesperson for that product?
Let's make this concrete. Say your loving wife took Vioxx for pain. Her doctor prescribed Vioxx with the promise of relieving her back pain and allowing her to move about more easily. She was thrilled. You were encouraged. And then your vibrant, beautiful wife of 24 years had a stroke, lost her ability to walk, speak, hold you, whisper your name. Fast forward, and you've won a large settlement for her injuries. And then you go on TV and tell your friends and neighbors that what happened to your wife is a rare event and that they should absolutely use Vioxx for their pain.
Meet Jim Schutte, who is now guardian as well as husband to Carolyn Schutte, who suffered serious injury from routine travel vaccinations for a trip to Africa. Like American infants, Carolyn received multiple vaccines at the same visit. And now her husband, her legal guardian, is telling others that vaccines are safe and that the risk is minimal.
EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO (KCTV) - HERE
An Excelsior Springs man has been awarded $7.4 million because his wife was left disabled by at least one of the vaccines she took before a trip.
On June 22, 2011, Carolyn Schutte went to the Clay County Public Health Center in Liberty for a round of shots. She was preparing for a trip to Africa and received vaccinations for various diseases, including tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. Two days later, she was debilitated with permanent brain damage caused by encephalopathy.
"The active lifestyle that we had before is over," said Jim Schutte, Carolyn Schutte's husband and now her guardian. "It's gone. We just have to make due with what's left."
The couple were once avid travelers.
Now, Jim Schutte is homebound, assisting with his wife's around-the-clock care.
"I provide most of her care," Schutte said, "But I can't do it 24 hours a day, so I have to have somebody coming in here and helping. It gets very expensive very quickly. It costs a lot more than you might think."
His wife, who was once the mayor of Excelsior Springs, needs a hydration tube and specially prepared food. She can't walk. She is paralyzed on one side. The only words she can manage are 'yes' and 'no.' But she seems to he able to comprehend everything around her.
"When I talk to her about private jokes that we had shared, she always laughs," Schutte said. "She calls for me in the evening. She wants me to come up and hold hands with her, and so we do that from about 7:30 until she's ready for bed."
Despite all the difficulties, Jim Schutte remains a passionate advocate for vaccinations.
"What happened to Carolyn is a rarity," Schutte said. "It's a freak of nature. It happens occasionally. But the chances of it happening to you are minimal compared to the risks of actually contracting the diseases you are being vaccinated against."
He's not just talking internet research. He holds a doctorate in human growth development and had done post-doctoral work in biomedical research.
One of his fears is that his wife's rare reaction to a vaccine will further fuel the anti-vaccination movement that he is so strongly against.
"I think people are taking anecdotal situations like Carolyn's and making it into something it is not," Schutte said.
Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/28183081/feds-give-family-74-million-over-disabling-vaccines#ixzz3UrqFlpb2