By Guillaume Atchouel. Published in French newspaper La Dépêche, 8th April 2014. (Translation by Helen Kimball Brooke)
Is Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, to blame for the death of Adriana Kolbecher, a teenager from the French Hautes-Pyrénées region who died on the 20th of October 2010? Her parents think so even if so far, there is no proof.
The number of lawsuits against Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine administered to many young French girls every year, is on the rise. An increasing number of doctors are also questioning its effectiveness on a daily basis and some of them are even suggesting that it could be dangerous.
Did Gardasil cause 17-year-old Adriana Kolbecher’s death on the 20th of August 2010 at Rangueil Hospital in Toulouse? The diagnosis by doctors in the neurology department was “autoimmune encephalitis” but they were unable to explain why this teenager’s brain became so rapidly and violently inflamed.
Adriana’s parents are convinced that it was indeed Gardasil which “killed” their daughter.
One of the doctors wrote in his medical notes: “Possible cause: Gardasil” but a Rangueil neurologist advised them to be careful: “Gardasil being the cause is a hypothesis but we have no evidence to substantiate this” he explained.
Adriana’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kolbecher, have nonetheless decided to take the manufacturer to court.
It was only after reading an article in the press reporting the “ordeal” of another teenage girl that they started to suspect Gardasil.
“Later, while surfing the net, it was confirmed to us by a large number of overwhelming testimonies”, explained her parents. “It was shocking to read because some of the adverse effects described were very similar to what Adriana had experienced after her vaccination on the 24th of October 2008.”
Like most of these teens, sometime after the vaccination, Adriana started complaining of “headaches, tummy aches… nothing really out of the ordinary for a teenager but these complaints became gradually more pronounced after the second jab (19th December 2008)”, continued the parents: “anxiety, hot flushes, tingling in her legs, muscle pains, difficulty walking… until she had a major loss of consciousness on the 18th of April 2009. After the third injection (24th April 2009), these adverse effects became intermittent and others appeared: total exhaustion, fainting, moodiness, loss of appetite… Although Adriana had always played lots of sports, she no longer had the energy to do anything and couldn’t even go upstairs to bed on her own.” One slightly distraught GP even advised them to consult…. a shrink.
At the end of July 2010, Adriana’s condition suddenly deteriorated: loss of weight, confusion, memory blanks, behavior problems…. “In early August 2010, she was hospitalized in three different hospitals and was finally put into an artificial coma, due to irreversible fits. She never woke up from the coma”, report her parents.
Around 50 French youngsters claim to be Gardasil victims and their families have already filed lawsuits in the French courts.
Complaint of “Manslaughter”
Adriana Kolbecher’s parents decided to take her case to the courts. As such, they will be filing a lawsuit for “manslaughter” this week. This will be the first such case, since most of the others have been filed as “accidental damage to physical integrity and deteriorated deception”. Fortunately, none of the other plaintiffs died.
André Dahlab, Medical Director of the Sanofi Pasteur MSD group who manufacture Gardasil replies that “the vaccine’s risk-benefit ratio has never been questioned but this is a difficult time for vaccines.”