Rally Speech, April 23, 2001, Anchorage, Alaska by Maureen Forceskie
Cael's Story: When Vaccinations Cause Damage
By Maureen Forceskie
I am the mother of an 8-year-old son who was injured by a DPT shot as an
infant. Cael was born a healthy and normal baby. When he was 4 months
old, I took him in for his 2nd DPT shot. I signed the consent form, without
feeling any doubt that I was doing the right thing. Just six hours after
this shot, however, Cael experienced a grand mal seizure that lasted for an
hour and a half.
In the Emergency Room, doctors drew fluid for a spinal meningitis test that was
negative. He was then given Valium. His pediatrician told us that
some children have seizures after a vaccination, so we thought this was a
Three months later, Cael ran a fever from Roseolla and had five seizures within
a 24-hour period of time. Again, we went to the ER, where we met with his
pediatrician and a local neurologist. They indicated that Cael may me a child
whose brain is sensitive to fever. It was suggested that Cael start on
Tegretol. This was the first of 11 medications that we would try with Cael.
In the following two years, Cael began having two to four generalized seizures
each month, both with and without illness. As we tried other medications,
we encountered an increase in seizures; different types of seizures, including
drop attacks and night seizures; and horrible side effects from the drugs,
including irritability, mood swings, poor balance, rashes, teeth grinding,
weight loss, hair loss, crying spells, sleepiness and hyperactivity. Nothing
seemed to help.
Although Cael's development seemed to be on schedule the first year, it wasnt
long before we saw the gap widening between him and other children his age in
the areas of language, gross motor, fine motor and daily living skills. This
was just the beginning of what would be months and years of ongoing seizures
and severe developmental delays.
To date, Cael has had over 2,000 seizures. He has tried 11 different
medications, special diets, alternative treatments and has a vagus nerve
stimulator implanted in his chest. The frequency of his seizures has increased
over time. In the past two years, he has been having 20 to 35 seizures
every month. Cael has had seizures while playing, bathing, traveling in an
airplane, attending school, riding in the cart at the grocery store and
sleeping. There is no apparent pattern to his seizures or any indication
of when hell have a seizure.
Cael cannot talk, dress himself, ride a bike, swim or do many other things that
normal 8-year-olds do. Though he receives speech and occupational
therapies at school and the hospital, Cael struggles daily with language, fine
motor and self-help skills. He has seizures nearly every day and has to
be with an adult at all times. He sleeps in the same room as my husband
and I do so that we can be there when he has his night seizures. With all
this going on, you might imagine how it is impossible for Cael to ever awake
feeling rested! For every step forward, he falls back two or three, due
to the seizures and medications.
Cael has undergone frequent medical testing, including routine blood draws to
check for toxicity of the drugs and potential damage to his organs, MRIs, EEGs,
and skin biopsies. He had surgery nearly two years ago to place a vagus nerve
stimulator in his chest. Most of this has had to be done at Children's Hospital
in Seattle, as there are no pediatric neurologists in Alaska.
Even after this first severe reaction, the doctors felt that we should go ahead
and continue with his vaccines. We did and Cael continued to have
seizures after the shots. Around this time, we began seeing stories on the news
about kids reacting to bad lots of vaccines, kids that were having seizures and
other neurological problems. We inquired through the National Vaccine
Information Center and requested a packet of specific lot numbers from vaccines
that had reports of reactions and deaths associated with it. We also requested
a copy of Caels shot record from his doctor with the lot number from that DPT
vaccine given on July 13, 1993.
When I received the packet of 900 lot numbers, I began scanning the
columns. Sure enough, there his was: a total of 152 reactions and four
deaths reported within this lot for DPT shots given between October 1992 and
December 1993. Of the 900 lots, this was the fourth largest group of reactions
reported. What I found unbelievable was that three of the deaths occurred
following shots given before July of 1993, when Cael received his! How
could this lot of vaccines not be pulled from doctors offices immediately
after one death, much less three deaths?
I was appalled that my child was given a shot from a batch that was known to
have caused reactions and even death! Why are we allowing these vaccines
from hot lots" to continue to be given when there are clearly documented
reactions to it? Is not one childs severe reaction enough to justify pulling
the rest from the offices of pediatricians?
This discovery was a turning point for us, as this was the moment that we
realized our child had suffered a vaccine-related injury. Once we realized that
there could have been some connection between the seizures and the DPT shot, we
found information that allowed us to file a petition for compensation. The
government acknowledged it immediately as a vaccine related injury and we were
able to move forward with the compensation process. A lawyer and life care
planner guided us through this process, which would take nearly four years to
complete. We now know that there are thousands of families out there
whose child will never be recognized as having had a reaction to a vaccine due
to information that is not available to parents.
I regret that I did not have the information eight years ago that I have now.
This would have enabled me to make an informed choice regarding vaccines.
What I know now about vaccines is astounding! Vaccines have caused
thousands of severe reactions and permanent damage in children. The government
has compensated millions of dollars for vaccine-related injuries and death for
what are supposed to be safe vaccines. Why is there a compensation program set
up to pay for damages and deaths of children who receive vaccines if they are
supposed to be safe? All parents should have the right to make an
informed choice on whether or not to vaccinate without being made to feel like
We do not know Caels prognosis or what the future holds for him. We only
know that we love him dearly and thank God for the health that he does
have. Cael has suffered tremendously and has been through more than most
people face in a lifetime. This has affected the rest of his family as well, in
many different ways, and it has truly been heart wrenching to watch him suffer.
Despite all this, Cael continues to bring smiles to our faces with his
mischievous yet simple ways. I know that if our story reaches even one family
and allows them to question the safety of vaccines and possibly prevent a
severe reaction, it will be worth it.
As parents, we deserve the right to be made aware of what the real risks are in
regards to vaccination. No family should ever have to learn about the
dangers of vaccines through watching their child suffer from ongoing medical
problems as a result of a shot that was thought to be safe. No child
should ever again be damaged or killed by toxic vaccines. One childs death
from a vaccine is one too many. Until the government can develop a 100% safe
vaccine for diseases, with a guarantee that there will not be a severe
reaction, I will not inject my children with mandated vaccines. I will
continue to file medical and religious exemptions from vaccines, which are
allowed in the State of Alaska.
My child is living proof that vaccines can damage children. Although our
family mourns for the healthy child Cael could have been, we are determined to
give him the highest quality of life possible and to channel our sadness and
energy into doing what we can to make vaccines safe for all children!
information, data, and material contained, presented, or provided here is for
general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the
knowledge or opinions of the publisher, and is not to be construed or intended
as providing medical or legal advice. The decision whether or not to vaccinate
is an important and complex issue and should be made by you, and you alone, in
consultation with your health care provider.
"A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth."
-- Albert Einstein, letter to a friend, 1901
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to William C. Jarvis, September 28, 1820
“A sacred cow will not protect the herd.”
-- Sandy Gottstein
"What's the point of vaccination if it doesn't protect you from the unvaccinated?"
-- Sandy Gottstein
"Who gets to decide what the greater good is and how many will be sacrificed to it?"