FAYETTEVILLE — A Fayetteville man says his son is living proof that the military's anthrax vaccine is not safe.
Toney Edwards plans to tell congressional investigators in Washington next week that the anthrax vaccine designed to protect his son, Kevin, nearly killed him.
"People need to know that this is, in my opinion, a very dangerous vaccine," Edwards says.
Kevin Edwards was deployed from Fort Bragg to Korea, where he received three doses of the anthrax vaccine in September and October 1998. By late November, Kevin was so sick that doctors rushed him from Korea to an Army hospital in Texas.
His parents were told their son might not survive, but nothing could prepare them for what they saw at the hospital.
Kevin's body was covered with blisters. After many painful months of recovery, his skin healed, but he lost some of his vision.
"I sure didn't expect to see my son laying there like he'd been in some type of explosion," Toney Edwards says. He plans to show graphic photographs of his son's body to the committee studying the vaccine.
"They need to make sure this vaccine is harmless and serves the purpose for which it's intended," he says.
Edwards also believes the prostate cancer he is battling now was caused by Agent Orange. The family hopes their testimony will spare another generation of soldiers.
Kevin Edwards will speak publicly about his illness for the first time at the congressional hearings on Tuesday.