TWENTY years ago, Sue and Stephen Ferris welcomed a baby girl into the world.
The couple lived in Canberra when little Laura Ferris joined her brother Mark, now 22. Two years later Joanna, 18, arrived.
However, Sue Ferris said she and her husband lost the bright and bubbly toddler they once knew after an haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB) meningitis vaccination, and watched her become a stranger affected by childhood disintegrative disorder, which is within the category of autism spectrum disorders.
While a 1998 study that linked the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism, undertaken by UK doctor Andrew Wakefield, was announced as a fraud earlier this month, Mrs Ferris believes Wakefield was in fact on the right track.
“Whether he is right or wrong he (Andrew Wakefield) is one doctor who has said vaccines could be a problem,” Mrs Ferris said from Deloraine this week.
“It wasn’t the MMR that damaged our daughter, she regressed after an HIB meningitis vaccine.
“Laura had a period of normal development (just more than two years) before a major regression, where she had the behavioural issues.
“We noticed a change in Laura within two days of the vaccine.
“While the HIB vaccine appeared to be the one that threw Laura, she had a history of chronic skin problems and oral thrush, which when we looked back over her medical history, all seemed to occur just after a vaccine.”
Laura’s parents questioned two doctors over the safety of the vaccine given Laura’s skin problems, but they both assured the Ferrises it was completely safe.
They began to look for answers for the apparent connection between their daughter’s regression and the vaccine.
“The more we found the more we didn’t like,” Mrs Ferris revealed.
Source: The Advocate, 20 January 2011 – http://www.theadvocate.com.au/news/local/news/general/family-convinced-vaccine-took-away-their-daughter/2052337.aspx?mid=52