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Teenage pill tragedy

MagazineFebruary 1999 (Vol. 9 Issue 11)Teenage pill tragedy

My darling daughter Caroline, aged 14, started having health problems in October 1991 (numbness in face, speech affected, loss of sight, tingling in hands and slight headache), which our GP diagnosed as migraine

My darling daughter Caroline, aged 14, started having health problems in October 1991 (numbness in face, speech affected, loss of sight, tingling in hands and slight headache), which our GP diagnosed as migraine. He told her to go home and take a paracetamol. Up until May 1993 Caroline had another four or five attacks. She was never referred for any tests.

Caroline had been seeing a boy for a year. In October 1992, she'd called into our local family planning clinic without my knowledge and was put on the Pill. She did tell them she'd had migraine, but the clinic didn't get in touch with our GP and didn't investigate.When I found out, I rang the clinic because I was unaware that young girls under 16 could be given the Pill. I was told that this was quite acceptable and, more or less, there was nothing I could do about it. I visited the clinic, and told the doctor my mother'd had thombosis. She assured me this was not a problem with Caroline.

In December, I took Caroline with me to a woman GP at our practice, hoping to get some support to convince Caroline to stop taking the Pill. Instead the doctor convinced Caroline there were no foreseeable risks.

Caroline had another attack in May, when she was sent to hospital. She fell unconscious in casualty, and that evening had a fit. By morning she was in a coma, and it was found she'd suffered a brain stem stroke. She was in a coma for two months, and when she came out of it, she could not speak or move. Over the 11 months, we were shuttled in between three hospitals. My husband and I gave up our jobs to be with her, most of the day and night.

We lost our beautiful girl in May 1994, when she was just 16. At the inquest, the GPs from our practice had lawyers. We had no one. We have since been made aware that there are certain types of migraine where the Pill is a complete no no, and if Caroline did have migraine, hers was one of them. Jenny Bacon.

For anyone wishing more information, Mrs Bacon has started a group called Parents Against Oral Contraception for Children, 2 Lyndhurst Grove, Allerton, Bradford BD15 7AS.


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