An appeal to the families of Canadian soldiers who were in Somalia.
Dave has been front and centre in the battle of mefloquine awareness for years. He’s faced an uphill slog the whole way, telling his story and the stories of others whose lives have been torn apart as a result of taking mefloquine. It’s easy to forget sometimes that Dave not only suffers from PTSD, his brain was damaged as the result of a neurotoxic anti-malarial drug.
By the very nature of the job Dave did, he was prone to suffering from PTSD. Whenever elite special operations forces are deployed, there is a very good chance that they will be engaging in some form of combat against enemies visible and invisible. This alone would be enough to shake up the average person to the point of becoming incapable of doing the job.
Having been trained to overcome this obstacle through powerful mental fortitude and rigourous training, men like Dave then have to face the grim realities that come with the job. Anyone who has seen the aftermath of a firefight, or an explosion, or any other means of violence for that matter, share something in common with each other in that they have all seen things that no human being was ever intended to see.
If someone were to experience these things while suffering from mefloquine intoxication, the results could only be described as horrifying. Sadly, many were unable to find a way out from the horrors, and they took their own lives. This is for them.
To a heartbroken mother.
What I am about to ask is not easy, and may not be easy for many of you to hear, however these things need to be said and they need to be heard. I will begin by addressing the mothers of those men who served in Somalia in 1993, and who have subsequently taken their own lives.
Your son was poisoned by a drug that robbed you of him. The man that made the final decision to end his life was very different from the man he was before he took mefloquine. There is nothing that you or anyone else did or said that made him want to leave you. His brain was so damaged that he was no longer the son you raised, the son who put on a uniform to defend what he believed in, only to have thos beliefs run roughshod over him.
Your son need not have died in vain however. There is starting to be more research conducted into mefloquine toxicity, and now you and they can make a contribution to this research. Using money recently received from a generous donation by the Royal Canadian Legion, Dr. Remington Nevin of the Quinism Foundation will be conducting a study of Canadian Forces personnel who were in Somalia in 1992/93.
Crucial to the study are the medical records of all personnel who were there. For those personnel who are deceased, it is up to the next of kin to authorize the release of their medical records.
So, Dave need the authorization from the mother, father, sister, brother, wife, or whomever the next of kin is, for those who took their own lives after taking mefloquine (Lariam). Their records will help the scientific community immensely, as they try to make the case chronic quinoline encephalopathy, otherwise known as quinism.
This research will go a long way towards advancing awareness and education efforts for mefloquine and tafenoquine worldwide, and has the potential to help save untold numbers of lives.
If you can help, please email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Messenger on Facebook. Your help is so greatly appreciated, and it will go a long way towards helping Dave reach just one more vet.