In October 2009, Rhonda Renata emailed me about the death of her daughter Jasmine on 22nd September 2009. She had emailed John Key, Tony Ryall, and a few others and had got the usual fluff political responses from a dogma-ingrained system. From the time of Jasmine’s death, she had scoured the internet and found many cases of Gardasil recipients who had had similar stories to Jasmine. She wanted answers as to her daughter’s death, and wanted to know what to do next.
I gave her a list:
- Was Jasmine’s death reported to CARM?
- Obtain Jasmine’s medical records for the last five years.
- Contact the Pathologist and ask what medical information they needed to complete the autopsy. (Never any reply to those emails!)
- Go to Jasmine’s work place, and speak to her colleages, and ask them questions about Jasmine at work.
- Construct from your diary, a detailed chronological timeline of all the things which Jasmine complained about at the time.
Rhonda did all of those things, and was able to put together a comprehensive document relating to that. It rather shocked and upset her, that when she tied everything together, so many of the “little” things that happened to Jasmine, which eventually built up into a large mass, were things she dismissed as a mother, or blamed them on something else at the time.
It wasn’t until after Jasmine died, that Rhonda was able to look back and see that what was happening was a slowly evolving big picture. This made her even more determined to find out why this happened.
The next step was to report the reaction to CARM.
Two days later, Rhonda received an email which said:
Thank you for these details and my deepest condolences.
This report has been received by CARM and is in the system. The number assigned is 087237.
As news got out on the grapevine that something was happening, various reporters tried to get to the bottom of it, but I was saying nothing, and neither was Rhonda. Reporters tried circuitous routes like contacting parliament members and asking CARM questions. I guess CARM must have thought they were home and hosed on this one, but Rhonda and I were amused to read in the Herald on December 11, 2009 :
CARM director Michael Tatley yesterday told the Herald an investigation was under way, but details of the girl's death were "really scant stuff".
The matter was still before the coroner. The girl is believed to have died in the past couple of months.
Her death had come within six months of receiving the Gardasil vaccination, but it was not known if she had completed the course - generally three shots administered six weeks apart.
Look at those two documents yourself. You can’t call that scant stuff.