All Ben Hammond wanted to do was to see his newborn baby. But what he had to do before seeing him, changed not only his own life, but also the fortunes of his family, forever.
It’s common knowledge that hospitals are places where disease outbreaks must be kept under wraps by any means necessary, including through the use of forced vaccinations. But what many people don’t realize is that these vaccinations can often leave people seriously injured and in worse condition than if they had actually contracted the disease itself.
This is the story of Ben Hammond, his family, and a tragedy that has become all too familiar, and all too often ignored — by both mainstream and local media. And because of the controversy that followed, erupting on both sides of the vaccine movement, it’s far from over.
Father of Five, Paralyzed by the DTaP Vaccination
Ben and Tanya’s fifth child James was born 8 weeks premature in September 2012, and the doctors at the hospital made the father get a 3-in-1 vaccination (DTaP: whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus) before he could see his baby.
He was up to date on vaccinations, but the hospital told him he needed the whooping cough booster.
Instead of protecting him, the vaccine almost killed him; it left him paralyzed, unable to work, and struggling with serious lifelong health issues, the family says.
“Horrendous, absolutely horrendous. Watching your husband go from the big, Aussie man that he was to a complete quad. I’m now no longer a wife; I’m now his carer,” Tanya said in an interview with 9 News Perth (Australia).
For the first six months in the hospital, Ben was completely unable to move due a condition called quadriplegia – a type of paralysis that results in the loss of use of the limbs.
“I couldn’t move a thing. It was just a general, general tiny movements in limbs. I couldn’t move my legs, I couldn’t feel them.”
After 10 months, his body had barely any normal function: no bladder or bowel, minimal function of the liver and kidneys, and no immune system – a simple cold could kill him. His wife said he had no short term memory. He would need to take 12 pharmaceutical drugs a day plus vitamins.
What the doctors diagnosed him with was acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare inflammatory condition of the central nervous system when the body’s own immune system attacks the brain.
His wife said that his ADEM was caused by the whooping cough vaccination.
Dr. Richard Choong of the Australian Medical Association reported that: “…there’s no evidence to say that it is linked, but equally there is no evidence to say that it’s not linked.”
What this means is that is has not been studied enough for the mainstream medical establishment to have the answer.
But it has been well established that similar reactions to vaccines happen often — devastating, sudden reactions like what happened to Ben.
“…Some people can and do experience side-effects….Occasionally you do get a case such as this where people do suffer serious harm. That needs to be acknowledged and those people are entitled to some form of…recognition and – arguably, recompense,” said Dr. Joe Kosterich.
Unfortunately for his family, Ben signed a waiver before receiving the vaccination, so he cannot get any financial help from the government or health insurance companies. The family lived on a $950 pension per week, and already lost their car at the time of the interview. They feared they were going to lose their house, and ended up having to ask for financial help in the form of a GoFundMe campaign.
Three years after, there is still no help from the government, and Tanya has become an activist in the vaccine choice community, spreading the word about vaccine injuries.
News Station Targeted for Reporting about a Vaccine Injury
What happened next serves as a textbook example of why mainstream TV news stations always seem to avoid vaccine injury stories.
After Hammonds’ story was broadcasted by STW-9 Perth on June 2-3 2014, some viewers reported the station to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) saying the story was factually inaccurate, biased, and that it might create public panic (see a blog post about the initial complaints here, including criticisms of the coverage and the other side of the story as to why such vaccines have been deemed necessary by the medical community).
After a thorough investigation, however, the ACMA rejected all three complaints. The Hammonds’ story continues to make waves in the vaccine choice community.
Hammond’s Family Targeted by the Community, Raided by the Police
Tanya has become especially vocal about the necessity of having a No Fault Vaccination Compensation Scheme (being compensated in a case of vaccine injury; see this petition on Change.org), and has spoken about it multiple times in the media.
This activism has gotten her some enemies. In November 2014, Tanya was physically assaulted by a woman resulting in a jaw and neck fractures. The woman was screaming at her about vaccines. When she was taken to court, she received a fine and a good behavior bond.
Then in 2016, the family was raided by ten policemen at 6 in the morning. Someone told the police that the family was making and selling crystal meth (which was discovered to be false).
“…They tried to force Ben to the floor. I was screaming that he couldn’t because he is disabled, but they wouldn’t listen. I had to watch him trying to get down, but since he couldn’t they slammed him roughly to the ground and pinned him to the floor with a gun to his head. was pinned to the ground with a gun against my head,” wrote Tanya.
The police brought cameramen with them. The police ended up finding one cannabis plant Ben was using to treat the constant pain he was in. Tanya clarified that any other pain medication caused him to have blood in the urine.
The family is speculating that someone was trying to hurt them because of the enemies they’ve made in the community due to the vaccine debate.
Despite their suffering, the family does not plan to stop speaking up. Vaccine injuries like Ben’s do not receive compensation in most cases, even though they happen more often than we hear about them in the news.
Thankfully, the web and social media have given a voice to people like the Hammonds whose stories desperately need to be told.
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