"This memoir presents a grim story of the human condition--greed and dishonesty and fear and ignorance and judgment and lack of compassion. Yet, at the same time, this memoir presents an inspiring story of love and the power of passion and commitment in action--the best of people working in cooperation to pursue justice, truth and healing. Gary William Cross and his family and colleagues are a testament of responsibility to self, family and community. I am grateful for their presence and courage and persistence. In reading this memoir, I was moved to out loud laughter, fist clenching and cursing anger and tears and smiles. Vial 023 is a vital and essential hystory of people being people to their detriment and to their betterment."
-Avida, one of the 124 involved in the hemophilia/pharmaceutical company settlement
God willing, I will never go through such personal tragedy. But if I do, I can only pray that I am as strong and as courageous as Gary Cross. What a great and tragic story.
-Mark C. Mula, Pharmacist, Palliative Pharmacy Solutions, Board of Directors, Patient Services Inc.
Reading the book and man does this bring back memories. Such a horrible time in my life and there were so many others going through the same thing. Wish I had known them. I felt so alone sometimes. Nursing a man with AIDs and working and raising two teenagers was quite a challenge. So glad that time of Hell is over. Thank you Gary William Cross for writing this book. It's for all of us.
“Sobering course in judicial matters” ‘Vial 023: a father’s pursuit of justice’, by Gary William Cross. Pp 151. Price $12.99. Kudu Publishing 2012. ISBN 978 1 938624 13 1 This book is a shocking story of two parts. The first part describes how the author’s son, Darren Bradley “Brad” Cross, became one of the estimated 10,000 haemophiliacs in the US who died after contracting HIV/AIDS through contaminated blood coagulation factors in the 1980s. That statistic is underlined with a photograph of 45 haemophiliac boys aged between six and 18 years of age taken at a summer camp in 1982. All but one of them are now dead, including Brad, who died in 1993, shortly before his 18th birthday. Brad was diagnosed as haemophiliac at birth and his parents were able to manage his condition satisfactorily. Then, in the mid-1980s, rumours of AIDS being spread by blood transfusions began to circulate. At the time haemophiliacs were told “not to worry” but, working with lawyers and other haemophiliac families, the author helped to reveal the awful truth. The second half of the story describes the key role that the author played in uncovering how four pharmaceutical companies boosted their profits by using blood from high-risk donors to make coagulation factors, how regulators failed to stop them and how those companies hid behind their legal teams while claiming: “It just happened. No one is to blame.” Vial 023 refers to a vial of Brad’s blood used as evidence in part of the protracted legal proceedings that followed. These events happened several years ago but this book is worth reading because the author has had time to reflect on his son’s short life and his own actions. Gary Cross gives a loving, sometimes humorous, passionate but remarkably composed account of what happened to his family and what he calls his “sobering course in judicial matters”. The way that Cross and two other men managed to get past the legal barrier to have an extraordinary meeting with the heads of the pharmaceutical companies involved and put an end to years of legal infighting is of particular interest. Roger Poole is a retired community pharmacist
Vial 023: A Father’s Pursuit of Justice By Sue Martin
Page 11 Volume 3, Issue 3 Have You Heard?
Person to Person ♦ Parent to Parent ♦ Peer to Peer
The ride home was long, 554 miles, almost nine hours, and I had just bought a new book the day before. At NHF’s annual meeting last year in November, I kept seeing this picture of a book title that continuously caught my eye throughout the meeting as I quickly passed the book tables. I am always so fo- cused on things I want to learn about with a mission for each national meeting that on the last day, I finally took a few mo- ments to check out what was intriguing me throughout the weekend. As luck would have it, the author of the book was doing book signings and as I looked into it further, I realized I briefly met the author and his wife during a dinner engage- ment. Gary Cross and his wife are lovely and somewhat quiet people, polite and charming as I would classify them. But when I put two and two together, my heart started to ache again. Gary and his wife suffered the ultimate heartache of our com- munity’s past, and Gary had written a wonderful book which I personally would recommend to anyone. While I do realize for some, as I have heard before, thinking of our community’s past is painful or doesn’t affect us so some- times we just choose to not become knowledgeable of the past history. But to appreciate all that we have accomplished throughout the years and where we are today, I believe we need to understand our history and be grateful always to those who came before us. My family entered the hemophilia community during the 1990’s, after the tragedies of our past with no recombinant factor yet available. By the luck of a missed diagnosis, our son was spared the earlier affects. Vial 023 is beautifully written and for me, put all the pieces together of the history of our community and answered some questions I never knew the answers to. It made us laugh at times thinking of Gary saying and doing some of the things he did, even identifying with him during some circumstances, but for many of the pages, tears gently flowed. Due to the fact we had such a long drive home and were so intrigued to find out what happened next in the book, I read the entire book out loud from cover to cover to my husband the entire way home: no music folks, just Gary and the Cross’s story. A portion of the purchase of this book is donated to Patient Services, Inc. (PSI) which provides financial support so no one goes without health insurance or life-saving treatment. Please think about purchasing this book and reading it. I believe you will be glad you did! Thank you Gary, Dana and everyone involved for continuing to keep our community safe. It is available on amazon.com ($12.99/$7.99 Kindle) and/or go to www.023.com for more