10-year-old boy who sleeps for 12 hours a day after developing narcolepsy from swine flu jab wins £120k compensation from NHS
A boy who slept for 19 hours a day after the swine flu jab gave him narcilepsy has finally won £120,000 damages after a six-year battle.
Josh Hadfield, now 10, developed the condition within three weeks of receiving the Pandemrix vaccine in 2010.
He would fall asleep up to every five minutes – even when he was walking, eating and swimming – and suffered sudden seizures when he laughed.
The Government initially refused to pay out through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme because he was not deemed “severely disabled” enough.
But his mother Caroline Hadfield, 45, fought a determined campaign and has finally been awarded £120,000 in damages.
She said: “It’s a huge relief and it will help secure Josh’s future.
“It’s just a shame we had to jump through this amount of hoops to get this far.”
Pandemrix was most widely used cavvine in the UK during the 2009-10 flu pandemic and given to almost a million British children between six months and five years old.
Josh’s narcolepsy was triggered after he was given the H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline.
He also developed cataplexy, which affects muscle control, and he underwent a large weight gain caused by his condition and medication.
Mrs Hadfield, of Frome, Somerset, said: “He was a perfectly healthy energetic four-year-old before the vaccination.
“But within two weeks he was getting more tired and after three weeks he was sleeping for 19 hours.
“Things then developed quickly and he struggled to walk.
“Nothing could convince me it was anything but the jab which caused Josh’s conditions.
“The Government had a knee-jerk reaction to swine flu and put out this vaccine, giving it to very young children.”
The Pandemrix vaccine is no longer used after a number of studies found links between the drug and narcolepsy in youngsters from Finland, Sweden and Ireland.
Studies showed the jab increased the risk of narcolepsy tenfold.
Mrs Hadfield, a civil servant, said Josh’s condition had improved and he is “coping” but still had to have “one to two sleeps” during the school day.
The youngster is now in Year Six and will take his SATS later this year.
She added: “He has had to work incredibly hard because he misses lessons due to sleep and medical appointments.”
The family’s solictor Suzanne Williams said: “We had to satisfy the tribunal that he had a 60 per cent disablement or more and they, in fact, concluded that he was 72 per cent disabled based upon his present symptoms.
“They were also critical of the medical evidence provided by the secretary of state which they considered had not taken into account the whole picture.”
GlaxoSmithKline said: “We remain committed to carrying out additional research into the potential role of Pandemrix in the development of narcolepsy.
“We are also supporting ongoing work from other experts and organisations investigating reported cases of the condition.”