A STOCKTON Heath father, who believes his son became autistic after being given the MMR vaccination, has welcomed a landmark Italian court ruling.
Judges in Rimini awarded the Bocca family £140,000 after the Italian health ministry conceded the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine caused autism in their nine-year-old son.
The result has given fresh hope for many parents with similar cases who feel the British legal process has failed them including father-of-one David Thrower.
His son Oliver, aged 25, requires 24 hour care which he believes was the result of a measles jab at 15 months and the MMR vaccination aged four.
The 61-year-old, of Ackers Road, said: “There was going to be a judgement sooner or later from a court that recognised a child’s health had been damaged by the vaccine and this is very important to us.
“There’s a store of dynamite underneath the medical establishment and parents can’t get through to the authorities despite the reaction of children being consistent.
“Politicians are not experts themselves but they are relying on advice from the very people who have fouled this up.”
David, who never had the opportunity to argue his case in court after legal aid was taken away, said he has an objective view of the vaccine.
He added: “Despite what happened to Oliver, I only go where the evidence takes me.
“I accept vaccines have saved millions of lives but I’m not prepared to accept when things go wrong the government should simply shrug it off.”
Oliver’s family said he ‘markedly regressed’ within weeks of the jab from a bright boy who could point to every letter on a bedroom alphabet freeze to someone who lost all his skills and language and was in a ‘world of his own’.
David added: “Oliver was our first child so we couldn’t understand what was going on.
“There was no media coverage and we didn’t know anybody else in the same position so we coped the best we could.
“It was a terrible day when I took Oliver, aged four, to a pre- assessment school.
“They were trying to get him to do a toddle race and he had no idea what was expected of him.
“I looked at him and realised I had got a brain damaged child and I cried.”
Repeated visits to the hospital did not supply any answers until a BBC report in 1997 highlighted an investigation into connections between MMR and autism.
Following that he met founder of vaccine support group Jabs Jackie Fletcher and many other parents who had all experienced the same thing.
He added: “All money would do now is pay towards Oliver’s care but we are determined to get the truth for him and other children uncovered.”