“Those affected by the heavy use of benzodiazepines such as Valium were at Kendall House between the 1950s and ’80s,” Madeline explains. “Teresa estimates that she was tranquillised at least a thousand times while living there..
“There are instances of children or grandchildren with cleft palates, water on the brain and other birth defects that are blighting their lives, also making them vulnerable to other illnesses and to bullying at school.
“Unfortunately, some of the children have already died. Teresa’s daughter Sarah, now 23, was born with a cleft palate and has experienced other medical problems. Teresa rightly feels that the Church should help victims deal with the financial impact.”
In another case, the son of another 48-year-old Julia Murphy suffered a stroke when just three and, now aged 19, has other life-changing threats to his health. Julia spent 18 months at Kendall House in the early 1980s before being fostered. Recently her foster father expressed horror at conditions in the home and the impact of tranquilliser use.
Madeline is investigating whether the psychotropic drugs affected the young women’s reproductive systems and whether damage may be caused to eggs in their ovaries. Bangor University psychiatrist Professor David Healy has stated that US regulators,