New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

A COUNTY WEX­FORD woman has had her youth stolen from her by the HPV vac­cine, ac­cord­ing to her mother, who has called on the HSE to in­ves­ti­gate and high­light the dan­gers the drug poses to young women.

New Ross woman Va­lerie Roche said her daugh­ter, who she wishes to re­main anony­mous, is one of hun­dreds of women across the coun­try whose im­mune sys­tem was su­pressed by the vac­cine, lead­ing to nu­mer­ous health com­pli­ca­tions.

Va­lerie wel­comed the lat­est fig­ures which show that the num­ber of County Wex­ford teenage girls avail­ing of the vac­cine has fallen from 88 per cent in 2015 to 66 per cent last year.

She said her daugh­ter re­ceived three doses of the HPV vac­cine, which pro­tects against the strains of Hu­man Pa­pil­loma Virus, in 2010, four years af­ter it was first in­tro­duced.

‘Af­ter the third dose she started com­plain­ing of headaches. She was a very healthy girl who cy­cled, walked and did karate. She was also a top stu­dent who wanted to be­come a doc­tor.’

By the time her daugh­ter was in her mid-teens one third of her hair had fallen out and she was suffering from se­vere mus­cu­lar pain, fa­tigue and dizzy spells and had trou­ble sleep­ing. She could only at­tend school for two hours a day in 6th Year and be­came al­ler­gic to sev­eral foods.

She had surgery for ovar­ian cysts two years af­ter get­ting the vac­cine.

It was only when Va­lerie saw a pro­gramme on the vac­cine that she re­alised that her daugh­ter had the same symp­toms. ‘I sat down and I cried.’

She took her daugh­ter to a neu­rol­o­gist and to an ENT spe­cial­ist and placed her on a holis­tic diet, which has helped her.

‘She took multi vi­ta­mins and sup­ple­ments and it was all hugely ex­pen­sive. She needed phys­io­ther­apy for her hips and joints which were con­stantly click­ing.’

Va­lerie said there was a lack of in­for­ma­tion about the po­ten­tial side ef­fects from the vac­cine for par­ents. ‘Now I feel grate­ful as there are a lot of peo­ple who know what to do if some­thing goes wrong fol­low­ing the cam­paign by the RE­GRET ad­vo­cacy group.’

Her daugh­ter’s health was fur­ther dam­aged when she con­tracted Lyme dis­ease.

Va­lerie said the is­sue needs to be ad­dressed and girls need to be in­formed about sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases and get­ting reg­u­lar smear tests.

‘Chil­dren are not sex­u­ally ac­tive when they are 12 so there must be a sub group of peo­ple who are prone to de­vel­op­ing com­pli­ca­tions from tak­ing the vac­cine. The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and med­i­cal pro­fes­sions work hand in hand and do­na­tions are made by Merck, (the vac­cine’s pro­ducer) to the Ir­ish Cancer So­ci­ety, which is a con­flict of in­ter­est.’

She said seven years on her daugh­ter still suf­fers from fa­tigue and mus­cu­lar prob­lems.

‘She is 21. she can’t so­cialise, she doesn’t drink. She was a friend’s house party a fort­night ago and was scream­ing in pain the night af­ter at home as if her whole body was be­ing boxed. She has a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and doesn’t get in­volved in the cam­paign. She is only one of up to ten girls we know of in the Wex­ford and New Ross ar­eas who have had ma­jor com­pli­ca­tions. I know peo­ple whose con­di­tions have im­proved with time, but none of them are fully bet­ter.’

Va­lerie said the vac­cine led to in­flam­ma­tion in her daugh­ter’s brain, adding that she also suf­fers from stom­ach and gy­nae­co­log­i­cal prob­lems.

‘I want to see an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into girls al­legedly af­fected by this to see what com­mon­al­ity ex­ists in their back­grounds, symp­toms and history. All that’s pro­vided (to par­ents) is a glossy in­for­ma­tion leaflet. They do re­fer to a good web­site but most par­ents don’t go to it.’

Va­lerie said she is ‘100 per cent con­vinced’ that her daugh­ter’s health prob­lems are linked to the HPV vac­cine.

‘I don’t see there be­ing any other rea­son. The symp­toms match with the list of symp­toms pro­vided by Merck. When I looked at their leaflet three years af­ter my daugh­ter’s third vac­cine I got sick.’

She said pay­ing for all of the con­ven­tional and holis­tic treat­ments her daugh­ter re­quires is ‘ like a sec­ond mort­gage’.

‘We have been able to af­ford it, but some girls’ par­ents can’t and end up on wait­ing lists. There is anger be­cause par­ents like me are be­ing fobbed off and told its chronic fa­tigue syn­drome. We (in RE­GRET) are par­ents and we don’t want other par­ents to go through what we went through. We don’t know what the fu­ture holds as some girls can’t have chil­dren. For us, we are on a mission to get our daugh­ter bet­ter.’

Va­lerie Roche.

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