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.