Epilepsy drug left chil­dren with spe­cial needs...the guilt is aw­ful Dis­traught par­ent took Warn­ing as Har­ris urged tablets dur­ing preg­nan­cies to launch in­de­pen­dent probe

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS -


wears glasses. They’re both happy lit­tle bun­nies but I think it’s be­cause of all the help and sup­port I’ve got from fam­ily – when it comes to ther­a­pists and as­sess­ments you have to fight for ev­ery­thing.

“I feel they’re both very vul­ner­a­ble. It’s heart­break­ing. I went around for years blam­ing my­self.

“I said, ‘I did this to them tak­ing that med­i­ca­tion’. The guilt is aw­ful.

“As a mother car­ry­ing a child I didn’t know this was some­thing to look out for.

“I just feel very let down and very an­gry for my kids be­cause I don’t know what kind of fu­ture they will face.” Deb­bie said when she found the

Health Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Anti-con­vul­sant Syn­dromes (OACS) Ire­land Face­book page she re­alised she was not alone and cried for days. She added some mem­bers of the sup­port group are still wait­ing for a let­ter from the HSE de­spite a commitment last Oc­to­ber. The health ser­vice is obliged un­der new EU rules to con­tact re­cip­i­ents of the medicine alert­ing them to the risks and the steps they should take. Deb­bie said: “The HSE says the let­ters were sent out but I have yet to re­ceive one. The fact the let­ter still hasn’t reached my hands, that lack of re­spect as a hu­man be­ing dis­gusts me. Ev­ery one of us feels so let down.

“The Govern­ment need to get their finger out, they need a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion go­ing back to the 60s and 70s when this was first dis­cov­ered.

“There’s young girls now still be­ing put on Epilim. As a mother of two chil­dren with spe­cial needs that is not what I want for the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion of young moth­ers.

“There are hun­dreds of chil­dren we know of but I think it could re­ally be on a scale of thou­sands. We are just be­ing ig­nored.”

In May, the Dail’s Health Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended an in­de­pen­dent probe to ex­am­ine his­tor­i­cal use of val­proate

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