Victim of ThalidomideIn the 1950’s and 60’s women in many countries were prescribed thalidomide as a sedative and to help them deal with morning sickness. The drug causes terrible birth defects and the children of pregnant women taking the drug were often born with horrible malformations including shortened arms, hands extending directly from the shoulder, and the absence of the thumb and the adjoining bone in the lower arm. 15,000 children worldwide were born with these serious deffects before the drugs were pulled off the market.
Fast forward a few decades and absence of the thalidomide is rearing its ugly head again. The drug has been approved in the US to treat a rare type of leprosy, and is used in Africa also to treat AIDS. And with its use, come more tragedies.
This little boy, Freddie, was born in Kenya. His parents tried to get him a visa to the UK for treatment, and after a media campaign they eventually succeeded. He died of a fungus infection a few days ago.