My Son Robert - A Mom Tells Of Her Sons Hepatis B Vaccine Injury
by Beth Topp (Robert’s mum)
Our family’s story about the devastating effects of the Hep B vaccine law June 1999
“I could not imagine a more difficult task than describing how my son was before the shot. With every word I feel that bright, curious, considerate, beautiful little boy getting farther away. My son is still here, but he’s not the same. He changed literally overnight. He had a thorough physical exam and our doctor said he was in great shape.
A few minutes later the nurse gave him his first “mandatory ” Hepatitis B vaccine. The following morning he was different. Different looking, different acting. I keep explaining this difference to all the doctors.
I realize that it is hard to get past the fact that he is paralysed on one side, but that for us is only the tip of the iceberg. There is something else going on here. There is something really wrong with him. Mentally, physically, and personality wise he is a different kid.
I can’t expect a doctor who has never met him to realize what a dramatic transformation this is because they have nothing to compare him to. I am hoping that my memories will be enough to help them understand how much of my child is missing. I hope I can make them understand how special he is and help them find some way to bring my little boy back to me. I’m not asking for a miracle, but just to understand what is happening to him, so maybe I can help fix it. I am so desperate, I will try anything. If he was dead I could mourn him and if he was missing I could look for him and if he had cancer I find the best doctors for treatment and comfort him. But he has turned into someone else and I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I don’t know how I am supposed to do it.
It is important to know that I wanted my children. I cherish them. I have always believed I was put on this earth to raise my children well, provide them with a good foundation enabling them to achieve great things. No sacrifice is too much. I want them to be good people and I believe that each one of them is destined to do something great with their lives.
We have six children and live in a small house on 4 acres. A few years ago we were set to move into a huge seven bedroom brand new home, but decided it wasn’t worth losing time with our children. Now I work full-time from home and my husband works on per project basis, so one of us is always with the kids. The point is I know who my children are. I am with them all the time. Some families have a family night once a week. At our house we have date night when Dad and Mom get to be alone, because every night is family night at our house.
I enjoy my kids. With six of them there is never a dull moment. They are all good kids, but Robert was always the perfect child. If you asked the other kids they’d agree. He was the good one.
Since the day he was born, a perfect little angel with a halo of beautiful white blonde hair and wise blue eyes. He was content. He didn’t have colic or get fussy. He never showed any sign of a temper and was patient to a fault. He was always so happy and agreeable. He was a natural athlete, nice, trying to please and very bright.
To say he was very bright doesn’t seem to do justice to his intelligence. He was a straight A student, every year and had scores of 100 percent on the state tests. His fourth grade teacher encouraged me to sign him up for our local college and he was accepted, but I decided a junior college wasn’t the best place for a little boy to be a little boy. He went to the Gifted and Talented Education Program.
Robert loved to think. He was so curious. He was always asking questions and loved to figure out brain teasers and word problems. His brothers nicknamed him “Poindexter” and teased him because he would say “Well, actually…” every time he corrected you. And he was always right. But he never bragged. In fact to Robert it wasn’t any big deal. Even though he mastered most things immediately he enjoyed practicing them as well. To keep himself challenged, he would time himself and try to get his homework done in record times. I never had to tell him to do his homework, it was always done. Robert demanded so much of himself that I never had to worry about him.
He was very competitive, but only against himself. Doing his best at all times was important to him. He was an excellent athlete. He excelled in karate, played in the youth football league, and was on the basketball team. But his passion was long distance running. He would run up the same hill everyday and time himself. He was the most comfortable competing against his own personal best. He just got a puppy that he was training to be a show dog and he was serious about it. He always made sure our animals were cared for even when it wasn’t his chore.
Robert’s schedule meant he had to get up first in the morning. I never had to wake him. He set his own alarm, got up, dressed, fed the horse, took care of his puppy, had everything he needed ready and waiting with all his homework completed to be at the bus stop 5 minutes early. Everyday rain or shine, no matter what. He was a clock watcher. He hated to be late and he never needed anything from anyone. He would be so quiet in the morning that I would fall back asleep and next thing I know he was kissing me good-bye and telling his brother to get up on his way out the door. He would run all the way to the bus stop and all the way home even in the heat of summer. One of my sons is notorious for telling me the night before he has a recital and needs to wear a dress white shirt and black pants. Robert was just the opposite. He knows what is happening months ahead and marks it on the calendar, but always says if you can’t make that’s O.K.
Robert is quiet, but not shy. Personable, but not social. Handsome, but not aware of his looks.