“Jeg kan ikke fatte at i dette lille land, (Irland) er der 4--, måske 500 familier, som er så svært påvirket, at deres datter er helt færdig og reaktionen fra sundhedsmyndighederne og specielt ministeren og mange andre politikere og professorer og læger er, at der er noget galt med familierne.” — Jonathan Irwin
Jonathan Irwin er en tidligere hesteavler og direktør for en væddeløbsbane som i sine modne år hengav sit liv til en fond han havde begyndt med sin kone Mary Ann kaldet Jack and Jill Foundation. Han begyndte den i 1997 for at bringe hjemmehjælp til svært handicappede børn, eller spædbørn født med livstruende sygdomme, hvis forældre ellers ikke ville være i stand til at betale for sådan en service. Irwin familien oprettede fonden som en reaktion på en tragedie, der blev deres egen familie til del i 1996 og som ændrede retningen i deres liv.

Jonathan Irwins søn, Jack, blev født sund og rask, men for af ukendte årsager udviklede han en svær hjerneskade, som følge af komplikationer, der opstod to dage efter fødslen. Ifølge Jack og Jills webside, "Mens historien ikke afslører den umiddelbare eftervirkning af dette drama, er det sandsynligt at han døde og blev genoplivet. I hvert fald kunne han fra det øjeblik ikke synke og var sandsynligvis både døv og blind." Lægen, der behandlede Jack, anbefalede Irwin familien at efterlade ham på hospitalet, så han ikke ville være en byrde for familien, og desuden ville det være den eneste måde, hvor staten ville være forpligtiget til at yde ham hjælp.


The Irwins, outraged and finding this attitude totally unacceptable, decided to care for Jack at home with the help of a local volunteer nurse. They received no assistance from the health services executive (HSE) which they found appalling. The Irwins vowed to help as many families as they could, who unavoidably found themselves in the same tragic situation. Jack lived for 22 months under the loving care of his family and a team of volunteer nurses by his side.

In the last 20 years, the Irwins, with the Jack and Jill Foundation, have helped thousands of families fund care for their severely disabled children in their homes. It is truly a monumental service to the country of Ireland and a gift to the children and their families they have helped.

So it was with a heavy heart that Jonathan Irwin stepped down as CEO last week in a shocking announcement via Twitter. His reason? To care for his daughter who is bedridden, following what he says was a severe reaction to the Gardasil vaccine. The usual vitriolic attacks from the motley crew of pro-HPV-vaccine-at-all-costs media reps, professors, doctors, and "concerned individuals," which normally descends on such posts, was noticeably absent. It seemed like there was a kind of stunned silence that such a prominent figure as Mr. Irwin would make such a claim.

Then something happened which was quite unexpected. The "Bring Vaxxed To Ireland" group contacted Mr. Irwin via social media after seeing his post. They asked if he would like to share his daughter's story with the Vaxxed team who were in town screening Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe at the Tivoli Theater that same weekend, amidst some (minuscule) drama. He graciously agreed, saying that he wished to help in any way he could.

Mr. Irwin invited the Vaxxed team to his home, on a Sunday afternoon, where they recorded this extraordinarily poignant interview where he talks about his daughter's illness. He explains his decision to support the families of Regret, much like he did for the early Jack and Jill families. It seems Mr Irwin has a deep empathy and understanding of the vilification of these families by the medical establishment and has the courage to stand up for them when he sees such an injustice.

In what seems like a tragic parallel with his late son Jack's story over 20 years ago, now his daughter Molly is suffering in a debilitating state after being given a vaccine which he refers to as a "disaster" and "useless." He says that his daughter has lost her teenage life. She used to compete on the Irish pony team, an experienced equestrian, but no more. He is equally as horrified at the treatment other girls and their families have received from the HSE, who have dared to speak out. He vows to bring this issue to the door of the Health Minister Simon Harris and ask him to explain how he is being hysterical when his daughter is suffering the exact symptoms listed on the patient information leaflet provided by Merck. He wants to ask him why parents are not being given this important information about side effects from the manufacturer themselves.

Mr. Irwin says he will ask Simon Harris to explain the inexcusable things he has been saying about these parents and wants to ask who has been writing his scripts? He thinks that because of the way "Harris and his team" have treated those who dare to put their head above the parapet and defend their children, the HPV vaccine program is now in free-fall in Ireland.
I cannot believe in this tiny country there are 4__, maybe 500 families so badly affected, their daughter completely wiped out, and the reaction of the Health Service and particularly the Minister and a lot of other politicians and professors and doctors, all saying that they're absolutely disgraceful. It is entirely their fault that the take-up rate has fallen from 87% to below 50%, and they are the outcasts and pariahs of society . . . . .

. . . These aren't parents who've got some great plot. These are parents in desperate straits, and they are completely blacked by the fact that the organizations that should help them are in fact really trying to turn them into criminals. And that is so wrong. If my wife and I can stop that, we will. Jonathan Irwin 5/8/2017
Mr. Irwin's video testimony is compelling, heart wrenching and empathetic. In keeping with his selfless attitude of helping families in the Jack and Jill Foundation for the last 20 years, he has now pledged his support for the 400 or so families in the parent support group REGRET, which will hopefully bring Simon Harris to task for the insanity that surrounds this issue in Ireland.

I have been writing about this topic for two years, trying to understand how this has been allowed to go on for so long without redress from the current Minister for Health and his predecessor, Leo Varadkar. We are so very sorry for Mr. Irwin's daughter's ill health, as his family has suffered so many tragedies throughout the years, but we will be forever grateful for his and his wife's support in shining a light on the plight of the Gardasil Girls in Ireland.

So very grateful.

About the author

Valerie Jackson is a native of Ireland, living in the U.S. She has a degree in business and worked in banking until her son was injured following a round of vaccines when he was one. She has since dedicated her life to his recovery and raising her young family to be as healthy as they can be.