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   Your Stories > My Story > No Hand To Hold &
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No Hand To Hold & No Legs to Dance on
No Hand To Hold & No Legs to Dance on

No Hand To Hold & No Legs to Dance on: Laughing and Loving - A Thalidomide Survivor's Story

While the battle for the compensation of Thalidomide victims was raging in the 1970s, former Labour MP Jack Ashley asked in a parliamentary debate how Louise, then 11 years old, could look forward to 'laughing and loving with no hand to hold and no legs to dance on'.

Louise was born Louise Mason, a victim of the devastating drug Thalidomide. Born without arms and legs, she is the daughter of David Mason, who single-handedly held out against the drug company, the legal establishment and all the other parents of Thalidomide victims in the high-profile fight for proper compensation for the victims.

As she was photographed with her family and appeared on television meeting celebrities during the battle, few people realised that she did not live with her wealthy parents and three siblings at their spacious North London home but was being brought up in an institution, Chailey Heritage in Sussex. In fact, Louise had never gone home from hospital and, for the first five weeks of her life, her mother didn't even see her.

This is a survivor's story, a triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Louise married John, a partially sighted man, and had two beautiful children. She was devastated when she discovered that he was having an affair with their carer.


She also had to undergo a kidney transplant, the first Thalidomide victim to do so.

She has worked, been an active disability rights campaigner and has now found new love, with Darren, a fellow Thalidomide victim who was born without arms.

This book is an amazing story of survival. It will make you smile, laugh and cry. I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend it.

This is the amazing story of the courage and determination of Louise Medus who has brought up her children & is living an independent life to the full despite great restrictions caused by Thalidomide.

I bought this book to read knowing nothing about Thalidomide children.
I could not put this book down and found it well written and a real insight into all the problems and barriers that Louise encountered. She is to be admired for her courage and sheer stubbornness and determination to beat all obstacles put in her way.
 
Louise Medus
 
 
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