Mama Stories, Vaccine Injury Stories

Regression After MMR Vaccine: Paul’s Story

Shared from his mother, Karen Hyden Ratledge.

“The sole purpose of this post is to generate awareness. The last 9 months have been extremely difficult for myself and my family, and I want to share our experience. Please allow me to preface my story; I am a Registered Nurse on a traumatic brain injury unit, I have worked in healthcare for 12 years, I have a bachelors degree and have plans to obtain my doctorate in nursing, and I am not an “anti-vaxxer”.

My son, Paul, was born 4/6/2017. He was a happy, healthy, interactive (pointing, clapping, etc) baby who loved to laugh. He listened to directions from a very young age (including “no”), very secure and adaptive, and he met all of his milestones through 18 months of age.

At 19 months Paul received the MMR vaccine, and within 2 weeks developed acute neurodevelopmental regression. Paul was no longer responding to his name, his affect became flat with “empty eyes” and would not make eye contact, he was no longer pointing, clapping, playing with toys etc. Paul became extremely lethargic and would frequently hold his head. His eye developed intermittent esotropia and occasionally both eyes would roll upward.


Frequent visits to the Pediatrician ensued without any answers along with reassurance all was well. An ER visit, an MRI, an EEG, and a neurology consult later-no answers. I cannot describe to you the feelings of helplessness, failure, guilt, and grief that consume you when your parent instinct knows that your baby is slipping away and everyone is making you feel as though you are losing your mind.

Not once did I mention the MMR vaccine to any healthcare provider or specialist as a causative event. I did not want to be dismissed or have my child’s condition dismissed. I did not have the energy to argue, or the courage to say what I knew.


Months later, after reading countless medical journals, research studies (none of which are U.S. based), implementing intervention after intervention, and trial and error we have made great progress.

Paul is now 28 months old and has made miraculous improvements. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but Justin and I feel that he will make a full recovery.

I want people to know that not every child has the same reaction after receiving vaccines, and some children have serious adverse reactions. I also believe that not all vaccines are created equal-the formula variance factor in vaccines is not a narrow range. I do not believe the answer is to stop vaccinating our children. I believe the answer is to make safer, well-regulated formulas-even if it isn’t the most cost effective option, and to reevaluate the current vaccination schedule for children under 2 years of age.

These are photos of Paul before the MMR, after MMR, and during recent progress.”