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Vial 023 (Book) Review

 
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9781938624131_p0_v1_s260x420
9781938624131_p0_v1_s260x420

 
At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 151
 
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Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


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A heartbreaking story of a family who lost the hemophiliac son to the AIDS crisis.

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I would have liked to hear more about Brad's life.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Vial 023 is a story that covers the course of Cross family’s lawsuit, as well as the family’s struggles and triumphs before and after it. It is a heartbreaking story that is not easy to read, but it sheds an important light on a dark point in our country’s history that has not been given its due scrutiny, scrutiny that Brad Cross and thousands like him deserved.

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Posted August 21, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“Most of the others were dead within a few years of their photos being snapped, as a result of the largest medical disaster in the history of the United States.”

The Cross family was just like any and other, really. A two income home, they worked hard but managed to set aside time for all the important things, like spending time with their son and daughter. They had a supportive network of friends and family to depend on, and things were really pretty good. Sure, their son Brad had hemophilia, but it ran in the family and they were as prepared as any household could be. So even though they, like so many others in our country, struggled with medical bills, their lives were full and happy – “were” being the operative word.

Those of us who lived through the ‘80s and 90’s could scarcely forget the panic that the discovery of AIDS brought about. People were dying, but the media, doctors, and more said it was a “dirty” disease, caught by participating in risky behaviors like drug use and unprotected sex between homosexuals. The people in the hemophilia community were concerned, and rightly so, because blood transfusions and blood derived medicines were what kept them alive. But doctors told them not to worry; the only hemophiliacs who had contracted AIDS were homo-hemos – the blood supply was safe.

Of course, we now know it most certainly was not, but it took years before the families of hemophiliacs found out the truth about where the blood was coming from – prisons and homosexual bathhouses were a cheap and dependable supply for companies looking to maximize profit. By the time the truth came to light, it was too late for fully half of America’s twenty thousand hemophiliacs. The very medicine that was meant to keep them healthy caused their deaths.

Vial 023: A Father’s Pursuit of Justice tells the story of one such family. Written by Gary Cross, whose son died tragically of AIDS. Brad Cross never had a chance to grow up, go to college, have kids. Instead, he spent his teen years slowly wasting away from a debilitating – and very socially stigmatizing, particularly at the time – disease, and his family suffered right along with him. The Cross’ weren’t content to suffer in silence, and they launched a lawsuit against the companies who had done this to them, and so many other families.

Vial 023 is a story that covers the course of Cross family’s lawsuit, as well as the family’s struggles and triumphs before and after it. It is a heartbreaking story that is not easy to read, but it sheds an important light on a dark point in our country’s history that has not been given its due scrutiny, scrutiny that Brad Cross and thousands like him deserved long ago.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)