April 11 Radio Address

Foley.jpgRecent media coverage of the vaccination debate going on in Augusta right now has been disappointing and one-sided, in my opinion. While it is easy to dismiss those in favor of the current law that provides for exemptions to vaccination requirements as “anti-vaxxers”, many of us have legitimate concerns that should not be dismissed.

Hi, I’m Robert Foley, the Republican State Senator from District 34, which includes part of York County.

My wife and I were parents of a two-month-old daughter who died just 36 hours after receiving her first set of vaccinations, including the DPT shot. There is not a person who will ever convince us that those shots did not play a significant and vital role in our daughter’s untimely and unwarranted death.

Our daughter was a full-term, healthy, vibrant baby, weighing 7 lbs. 11 oz, receiving an Apgar score of nine and exceeding all growth markers. Her doctor, the day before she died, remarked how well she was doing in comparison to the standardized growth charts.

After her death, her doctor secured the remaining vaccine serum for testing for potential imperfections. Inquiries to the Medical Examiner’s Office, the state and the federal CDC regarding the testing were rebuffed as problematic for the vaccination regiment being implemented throughout the country. We were told that no good would ever come of pursuing the testing; it was time to move on.

My wife and I were not seeking vengeance or retaliation with our inquiries, we were simply seeking the truth of why our daughter died. We were left with the saddest of diagnoses, no known cause of death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

A recent decision this past summer by the Vaccination Injury Court of the United States in Boatmon vs HHS a Judge ruled:

“In this case, I have concluded, after review of the evidence, that it is more likely than not that the vaccines played a substantial casual role in the death of J.B. without the effect of which he would not have died.”

If vaccines are 100% safe, why has the federal government exempted all manufacturers and physicians of any liability and why has the Vaccine Injury Court paid out over $4 billion in damages?

Fortunately, my wife and I had two other children after our daughter’s death, both similarly healthy, but neither of them had the vaccinations so early in their lives and neither had the DPT shot, just the DT shot. We did not start vaccinations until after six months and never multiple injections at a time.

We were frightened and determined not to lose another child. As a result, my wife and I used the philosophical exemption so our children were not required to be vaccinated under the same protocol.

The bill now before the Legislature, written by a pharmaceutical companies’ lobbyist, would eliminate this exemption.

I do not wish a child’s death on any parent, that pain is still with us today. I only ask for folks to understand the wrenching decisions that we had to make as a result of our daughter’s untimely death. They were not easy decisions and were not made without a great deal of contemplation and consultation with our medical providers.

Unless you believe that healthy babies simply die for no reason, I ask that you understand the difficult decisions that parents who have had tragic vaccination reactions like ours have faced.

Thank you for listening. Again, I’m Senator Bob Foley.


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