I’m sending you my sister-in-law’s story, as she’s not on Instagram.
She is not an anti-vaxxer. She thought my views on the whole situation were ridiculous and didn’t think the government would do anything to harm its constituents. However, she didn’t actually want this jab at the time because she felt it was too soon. In the end she only had it due to workplace mandates. She needed to keep her job as she’s a single mum. Prior to this, she was a healthy, happy 36 year old woman and mum to her nine year old old daughter. Now she can’t be with her daughter for the majority of the time due to what’s happened.
She had her second Pfizer vaccine on 7th October, 2021. A reaction happened within 15 minutes. Her heart was pounding, she felt sick and then a wave of what felt like ‘slowness’ came over her. She said her heart felt like it was beating out of her chest, she had trouble swallowing and breathing. A med call code blue was initiated. She was then transferred by ambulance to ED. This happened at her work’s onsite clinic for staff, during her shift.
She was seen in ED. Tests were taken, along with an ECG. The results came back fine apparently. I wasn’t with her at this stage. She was told she’d get over it. When she asked what might have caused this and whether there was a strange ingredient in the vaccine, she was told that they didn’t know any of the ingredients, nor how people would react and that she was part of a trial! She was gobsmacked. They released her, told her to get some rest and was given a doctor’s note for that day and the next day of work. A friend stayed with her that night as she didn’t feel comfortable staying alone.
She ended up going back to ED around midnight due to her heart beating so much that she couldn’t sleep. Another set of observations, another ‘you’ll be right’. They also gave her another ECG. Before putting the pads on, the doctor said out loud, “Oh I’d better check with my senior before I do this, in case they want to cover tracks”. Again, she was gobsmacked! The ECG was all normal again apparently. She was released two hours later. All through the weekend she didn’t feel right. Her heart felt abnormal and she had neurological symptoms such as brain fog and delayed speech.
On Sunday night she called her brother, my husband, and I and asked if one of us could take her to hospital. When I got to her house to pick her up, her walking was affected. She was limping, shuffling, her left side was sloppy and her face was droopy. Her speech was affected, she was talking slowly and had some trouble getting the right words. Back in hospital, she was assessed and blood tests were taken. We still don’t know what the blood tests were for, as they wouldn’t disclose this to us and we are yet to receive a response to a Freedom of Information request.
A CT scan was ordered for the morning. As soon as staff heard it was post the second jab, their demeanour changed. They became dismissive and some were downright disrespectful. She couldn’t walk unaided by this stage, so I would take her to the toilet in a wheelchair and help her in the toilet. When she was assessed, she told them all her symptoms, including about a massive pressure in her head, not a headache, but like something was pressing on her brain and she was unable to open her eyes. She also had muscle weakness down the left side. A stroke or TIA – transient ischaemic attack, was suspected at first.
Monday morning, she was admitted after we spent the night in ED. In the cubicles around us, we overheard three vaccine reactions on Sunday night and three different reactions on Monday morning.
Before we went up to the ward, she went for an MRI. What should’ve been quite routine and quick, turned into a horrifying situation. We had been waiting some time when K called out.
Her eyes were still closed as she physically couldn’t open them, no matter how hard she tried. She said, “I don’t feel right, I feel hot and cold and my heart and brain…”. She wasn’t making much sense. I touched her cheeks and her left side was burning hot. She had a rash all down her face, neck and shoulder. Her right side was ice cold. She mumbled, “My throat”, and started to slur her words badly and couldn’t swallow. I called for a nurse or doctor, but could I find one? No.
I ran around radiology looking for anyone to help. Finally, someone did, but by this stage her whole left side was spasming uncontrollably. A code blue was called. I honestly thought I was losing my sister-in-law at that moment. I was kind of pushed to the side, so didn’t really see much of what was going on. As soon as she was stable enough, they took her for the MRI to see what was going on in her brain.
The MRI turned out fine with no physical signs of a stroke or TIA. Her neurological symptoms were transient in hospital. She would get one or all of them, lasting from a few minutes to hours, or all day. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it. The attendant was so rude and walked out on me while I was asking a question. He treated K with such a bad attitude. As soon as we have his name, we’ll be placing a complaint. She was gaslit, told it was in her head, that it was anxiety and that she was making it up. We were also told they had spoken to Neurology. They hadn’t, as this hospital doesn’t even have a neurological department! She was admitted on Sunday 10th October and was discharged on Thursday 14th October. On the day she was discharged, she was told she had FND – Functional Neurological Disorder.
She was at home for a few days, with friends and family staying over to help out. On Monday 18th October, my sister was with K. She decided to take her to the main hospital where there is a cardiac and neurological department. She had had a weekend of non-stop cardiac and neurological symptoms. She was admitted and observed. They also hooked her up to cardiac monitoring for 24 hours. The attendant who was overseeing her linked the cardiac issues to the vaccine and also said it was a known issue. They labelled it as tachycardia with ventricular ectopics, palpitations and a reaction post-vaccine. They reported it to the TGA. The neurological symptoms were noted down as ‘non-specific’ and possibly secondary to the vaccine. K was released Tuesday night, 19th October. Once again, she was at home with support from us and friends.
On Friday 22nd October she called us in the evening and said she was feeling really horrible. She wanted to go back to hospital, but my husband was at work and I was home with our kids and couldn’t leave them. She called one of our cousins who was able to take her. Halfway to the main hospital our cousin got really worried as K’s condition was deteriorating rapidly. She had slowed and slurred speech, closed eyes, droopy face, paralysis on right hand side and spasming on left. She pulled over and called an ambulance and K was transferred by ambulance the rest of the way to hospital. She recounts she was treated poorly by paramedics. They were telling her to stop faking. The doctor in ED said similar and told her if she didn’t stop faking and co-operate, they wouldn’t assess or treat her. By this stage, K said she couldn’t move anything apart from her head and left arm. They admitted her into hospital, as she was clearly in no state to be discharged. She said they were telling her that it was anxiety, in her head and so on.
She called me at midnight in tears, after getting a nurse to dial and hold the phone. She didn’t know what was happening or what time of day it was, as she still couldn’t open her eyes. She couldn’t move with the paralysis. She said no one was telling her anything and she was scared. She was begging me to come down. I couldn’t, as my hubby was at work still and I had the kids to look after. I spoke to the nurse and she said I wouldn’t be allowed in anyway. I promised someone would be there the next day.
She was in this terrible state for 36 hours until she could finally move again. They transferred her from the General Medicine section to Neurology and she was in hospital for six days. There, she was once again treated like shit and gaslit. For example, they tried telling her she’d had breakfast one day, but in fact she was nil by mouth, due to her inability to swallow.
The confirmed diagnosis was FND, but she wasn’t given much information and told it was very individual, depending on the person. They pushed her to see a psychiatrist and psychologist. They made her feel it was all in her head and that she was controlling the physical symptoms.
The first stay at the main hospital, at the nurse change over, the new nurses said, “Oh yes, we’re seeing lots of these reactions post-Pfizer vaccination”. The social worker also said this. At her first hospital stay, where I was able to be with her, there was a lady in the next room. We overheard she was there due to a pericarditis diagnosis, post-Pfizer vaccine.
Almost nine weeks on, K can’t drive and can’t go back to work. I take her to appointments. She documents as much as she can with video, photos and notes. She never knows when a neurological attack is going to happen. When it does, she doesn’t know what kind of symptoms she will get. Her heart is still giving her grief and does random drops to around 40bpm. Her resting heart rate, pre-vaccine, was around 70 to 75bpm. Now it’s 100bpm. She can’t look after her daughter alone because she doesn’t know when an attack could occur and how severe it might be. Her daughter is now mainly with her dad, but prior to this, it was the other way around.
She can’t plan for anything. Worker’s Compensation is taking what feels like forever to make an assessment and now the financial stress is taking a toll.
Her treatment in hospital was the hardest, from what I witnessed and her accounts. No one should be treated like this. Her discharge summary, from the first hospital stay, was also missing information. The missing information included the code blue she had at Radiology/MRI department. This is why we have made Freedom of Information requests; to make sure nothing else has been missed or altered.
They have also put her on anti-depressants. There have been no answers as to how long her recovery will be, if at all and say that it’s ‘individual’. This is not a lot of help to someone who just wants this nightmare to end. Nothing has been said or done about her cardiac issues. They put her on an anti-psychotic drug while she was on the neurological ward. She promptly stopped taking it, once she realised what it was.