A Harrogate Thalidomide victim is urging people in the District to support his latest campaign by “showing their hands”
Guy Tweedy – one of just 469 survivors of the “wonder drug” is now behind the drive to force manufacturer Grunenthal to compensate those who have had to live with the drug’s catastrophic side effects for the past 50 years.
Thalidomide was administered to pregnant women to combat the effects of morning sickness, However, in May 1962 the drug was withdrawn after it was linked to crippling side effects in new born babies.
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.
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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
Mr Tweedy said:
For the past 50 years, the survivors of Thalidomide and their families have to live with this damage it to unborn babies in the womb.
In all that time Grunenthal has never paid any compensation to the British, Canadian, Swedish and Australian Thalidomide victims.
It is still owned by the same family who started the business just after the Second World War and developed Thalidomide just a few years later.
This campaign is to finally get Grunenthal to give victims around the world a meaningful compensation package and an unreserved apology.
To help win this campaign we need as much public support as possible. All we are asking is that they go onto our new website, www.showyourhand.org, and register their name.
Mr Tweedy went to Grunenthal’s headquarters in Stolberg, near Archen, Germany, in 2007 and met with a representative of the pharmaceutical company. However, this led to nothing of any consequence.
In 2008, Guy and fellow Thalidomide campaigner Nick Dobrik made 38 trips to Germany to help German thalidomiders with their own compensation campaigns. As a consequence, they will now receive 123 million Euros a year from the German government.