This film is part of Free

A Day in the Life of Kevin Donnellon

An episode of World in Action documenting the life of 11 year old Kevin and how he and his family live with the effects of the drug Thalidomide.

1972 28 mins



A documentary capturing a day in the life of 11 year old Kevin, one of around four hundred children in Britain who were dealing with the effects of thalidomide. We follow him getting ready for the day ahead, during school hours, and then at home in the evening. Featuring interviews with both Kevin and his mother on how the family are adapting his disability and the challenges it can present in everyday life. Kevin’s mother presents a compelling account of the personal and financial strains she has faced. Without significant intervention from the UK Government, she is pessimistic for Kevin’s future.

This report indicates the significant impact Pauline Skelly, head teacher at Dovecot Primary School, had on a number of thalidomide children in the Merseyside area. Kevin went on to complete a university degree and now works as a freelance lecturer and disability consultant. He was involved in the making of the BBC programme Thalidomide: The Fifty Year Fight (2004).