Mother and daughter with CJD

They took her baby away before dawn. It was less than 24 hours after she had given birth, but already the medical staff could see her baby was in urgent need of help.

Doctors suspect this baby was the first case of CJD, the fatal brain disease linked to BSE, be passed from mother to child.

Many people with CJD have been diagnosed so late in the course of the disease that they are no longer capable of understanding what is happening. Not so with Janet.

“She has twice told me she knows she has got mad cow disease and that she is going to die,” said her mother. “I hated to think what must have gone through her mind when she lay in bed at night.”