November
25

First UK Thalidomide Memorial unveiled

Posted on Sunday 25th November, 2012

Image from BBC News
Image from BBC News
The UK's first memorial to people affected by the drug thalidomide, has been dedicated in Harrogate, Yorkshire. 

The memorial, a 16ft (4.8m) high copper beech tree and plaque, commemorates babies born with a range of disabilities caused by the drug. 

Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women in the 1950s as a cure for morning sickness but withdrawn after its devastating effects became known.  Many thousands died in infancy but those who survived are now in or approaching their fifties and still have not received a permanent financial settlement. 

The memorial marks the 50th anniversary of the drug being withdrawn from the UK market.  A least 2,000 in the UK were born with deformities brought about directly by Thalidomide, and more than half of them died within their first year.  An unknown number also died in the womb. 

Common deformities included missing or shortened limbs, blindness, brain damage, missing sexual organs and missing internal organs.  There a total of 469 Thalidomiders still alive in the UK today. 



Read the BBC story here


Tags: thalidomide dysmelia rare disease diageo News Article News News Article News News Article

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