At the 16 week foetal stage, Paul Whymark's brain
development was frozen as a consequence of the drug, Thalidomide. His journey is one of
considerable self discovery, but also reveals greater societal insights. "16 Weeks and Everything After..." uncovers
the remarkable fact that over the last 50-60 years the establishment has failed
to genuinely independently review Thalidomide, and as a
consequence, harms on developing life continue to have the potential to occur
into the future. Worse is that the insidious nature of many of the
unacknowledged harms of Thalidomide are still
not related to the drug. Hence such consequences are unrecognised and are at
odds with official and textbook accounts even over 50 years on. Therefore, as
well as appealing to general readers and other professionals, this book
urgently needs to be on every medical personnel's (or trainee personnel's)
required reading list.
"16 Weeks and
Everything After..." manages to communicate the minutia of subtle but
all-important detail to uncover a quite different picture to that has been
reported thus far. It has been written in an
uplifting and heart-warming way, with the attitude of turning negatives into
positives, but without losing sight of the underlying issues. The author has
sought to stand up for his late mother, who like all mothers of children harmed
by drugs consumed during pregnancy, carry the resulting additional challenges.
This has sustained Paul's drive through the years of both official impasse and
life's ups and downs. The book comprises a set of micro-narratives, but join
together to reveal a significant personal journey in addition to a much larger
and wider untold picture.
Paul Whymark studied with The Open University and has used his skills to help devise approaches to answering unanswerable questions in relation to Thalidomide. He hopes awareness of this issue will help prevent future harms on the unborn, and help others achieve recognition of harms from other drugs consumed during pregnancy that have thus far been ignored.