"I want to leave it up to the lawyers to deal with GlaxoSmithKline. These drug makers say they are out there to help you but my feeling is that they just want to get your money," she adds. "If it wasn't for Medicaid I don't know what we would do - my husband and I are still paying for the inutero surgery I had to correct my son's spina bifida.
"I was diagnosed with depression and migraines and my doctor put me on Paxil in between pregnancies back in 2001. I had my sixth child on December 1, 1999 and including Matthew, I now have seven boys.
In 2002 I became pregnant with Matthew and I was still on Paxil. This concerned me so I talked to my obstetrician who subsequently looked into it and told me it was safe. I continued taking Paxil throughout my pregnancy. At 18 weeks gestation, Matthew was diagnosed with spina bifida. At first, my doctor told me it was due to folic acid deficiency but that was impossible: since giving birth to my twins in 1996, I had taken folic acid daily. And there are no cases of spina bifida on either side of our families.
At 23 weeks gestation, Matthew had inutero surgery in Nashville, Tennessee. The surgery was successful but I had to have a needle inserted into my leg which gave me medication to stop premature labor. Even then, Matthew was born six weeks prematurely on January 12, 2003. Three months later he had to have a shunt placed in his head and so far he has undergone five surgeries. Poor little guy is only three years old. Matthew can't walk and he has problems with his bladder and bowels. We have to take him to the hospital at least once every few months for a slew of problems, from spina bifida to neurological disorders, and the drive takes two hours each way.
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My doctor isn't forthcoming when it comes to talking about Paxil. And I only found out in the past six months about all the problems it is causing.
I am so furious because this all could have been prevented.