The children who can’t stay awake – and their battle for vaccine injury compensation

Preface by TLB Staff Writer: Christopher Wyatt

Vaccine injury is about so much more than Autism, I am begging people to take a look at this story and to let it seep in that the sorrow caused by this vaccine drove a woman to take her own life! Vaccine injury is real and it hurts people on a level that is truly criminal.

All of us have a duty to stand up and fight against what could be the largest human rights violation in human history. I will say it until my dying breath that we have to take the fight from social media into the real world! Read this story, share it, and do what you can to be active in the fight to prevent this kind of horror from happening to others. (CW)

The children who can’t stay awake – and their battle for vaccine injury compensation

By Paul Gallagher

Claire Crisp with her daughter Mathilda, who began suffering extreme night-time sleep disturbance within two weeks of having the Pandemrix vaccine. (Photo: Claire Crisp)
On 10 December 2009, seven-year-old John was given a vaccination called Pandemrix against the pandemic influenza A (H1N1), commonly known as Swine Flu. Four months later, following extensive hospital examinations he was diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy, neurological conditions that will affect him for the rest of his life. Although millions of people in the UK received Pandemrix without complications, the 2009-10 pandemic vaccine has been found to have caused an outbreak of narcolepsy in the UK and in Europe. About 1,700 people across the continent are thought to be affected, of which around 100 have so far been identified in the UK. John, not his real name, is one of them. Court documents show that John, now 14, “falls asleep regularly” and “ran risks of dropping to the ground”. He cannot travel to school alone, go swimming alone and has to be supervised to ensure he has a shower and gets dressed. He needs one-to-one help at school and risks falling behind because of his need for additional sleep.

£120,000 in vaccine injury compensation

Last month the High Court heard an appeal from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) against a test case decision forcing it to pay John £120,000 vaccine injury compensation. It was the culmination of a five-year legal battle which began in January 2012 when John applied to the DWP for compensation under the Vaccine Damages Payments Act 1979. The claim was initially refused on grounds of lack of a causal connection between the vaccine and John’s narcolepsy, which affects the brain’s ability to regulate the normal sleep-wake cycle leaving sufferers prone to suddenly falling asleep at any time. The Government eventually acknowledged the link, but maintained that John’s condition had improved and his level of disablement was less than 60 per cent – the threshold required to meet “severe” disability criteria for awarding compensation under the statutory scheme. In June last year the DWP paid the £120,000 compensation having lost their case at tribunal, but carried on appealing the decision.

Five year legal battle

Last Thursday, the Court of Appeal published its findings. Sir Terence Etherton who, as Master of the Rolls, is the second most senior judge in England and Wales, Lord Justice Davis and Lord Justice Underhill, all found in favour of John, paving the way for the dozens of other families in similar situations, many of whom had their cases halted pending the outcome, to win their claims against the Government. It was the first time the Court of Appeal considered a case of vaccine injury compensation under the UK statutory compensation scheme and its decision will be binding on all future assessments of disability brought under the 1979 Act.

Peter Todd, a solicitor with Hodge Jones & Allen who is representing 88 claimants, many of them children, who have developed narcolepsy after receiving the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine, said: “John has experienced life-changing injuries as a result of having the vaccination, and there are many other people across the UK and Europe who have suffered the same. It is essential that they are given the financial help they need to lead as normal a life as possible.”
Compensation for narcolepsy caused by Pandemrix has been paid in many other European countries, including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, France and Denmark, but so far UK residents have been denied compensation both by the UK government and GSK, the vaccine’s manufacturer. Mathilda Crisp was three years old when she began suffering extreme nighttime sleep disturbances and hallucinations within two weeks of having the vaccine. “Mathilda would literally not be able to sustain sleep at night but rather thrashed about, screamed and injured herself when trying to escape the bed in response to the terrifying hallucinations. She was three years old and required care all night every night,” her mother Claire told i.

‘She fell asleep in the bath’

“Within weeks she began to sleep during the day. It could be anywhere and every where. She fell asleep in the bath, at the beach with her head in the sand, in a swimming pool and even on the driveway. I could be talking to her one moment and I would turn round and she was asleep.” Within two months Mathilda, now 10, needed round-the-clock care. It was years before she was eventually diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy, a condition characterised by sudden, profound muscle paralysis, the onset of which takes several seconds, and often results in the sufferer collapsing. “I am glad to see this acknowledged by the courts but equally frustrated that it has taken so long for the victim to be compensated,” Ms Crisp said from her home in California, where the family moved to seek help. “Nor does it bring closure for Mathilda since the DWP money is caught up in the wider legal case against GSK and the Government. She will not be awarded the £120,000 because it most likely take longer than the resolution of the group action case. And if the case is successful, the £120,000 is deducted from the larger sum awarded by the courts anyway.”

Judgment too late for one victim

One victim did not live long enough to witness last week’s judgment. Nursery assistant Katie Clack was left “desperately unhappy” when she developed narcolepsy after receiving Pandemrix on 8 December 2009. She died on 23 September 2014 after falling from the top of Queensgate car park in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Last August, the inquest into her death was told the 23-year-old was seen on CCTV walking into the Queensgate Shopping Centre, taking the lift to the top floor, level 11, and then stepping off. Mr Todd said: “Katie was an energetic young woman who had just discovered her passion working with children. Narcolepsy turned her life into a terrible daily struggle and drastically reduced her quality of life. “We cannot believe she would have decided to take her own life had the balance of her mind not been disturbed. She was let down by the defective vaccine which caused her narcolepsy.”

Katie Clack killed herself after sinking into depression following her narcolepsy diagnosis.

The inquest was told that at some points Ms Clack, who was required to take the vaccine because of her job, was sleeping up to 19 hours a day. Her mental health deteriorated and she started suffering from clinical depression and psychosis. The DWP posthumously awarded her £120,000 compensation. Ms Crisp said: “As a parent and a clinician I understand the role of vaccines. I understand the role of the Government in protecting the wider population and I understand the role of primary care within the NHS. But when things go wrong, and people are injured due to an untested vaccine, why is the British government the last in the Europe to own up to its failings and take care of those who it has damaged?” Matt O’Neill, the chair of Narcolepsy UK who knows many of the affected families, told i: “I’m delighted by the judgment, but it doesn’t surprise me. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the ‘severely’ disabled criteria under the VDP Act was clearly met. “As I’ve said all along, it’s not unreasonable to expect the State to look after its citizens when things go wrong following vaccination programmes. It was obscene for the Government to deny payment and I never thought they would get away with it.” Anyone concerned they may have narcolepsy can contact Narcolepsy UK on



Visit Christopher Wyatt on both his FB page and personal blog


1 Comment on The children who can’t stay awake – and their battle for vaccine injury compensation

  1. Vaccine damage is real! We need to make these companies that have caused these injuries accountable! We must put an immediate stop to any type of forced or mandated vaccines! We must protect our children and ourselves from companies who have put profits over protection!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.