I’m 38 years old and from overseas. I came to Australia in 2014 and I hope to get my permanent residency next year. I work in construction and I was super fit before the vaccine. I have always been active. Running, cycling, sauna, no drinking or smoking, just clean food and lifestyle.
I didn’t want to get the vaccine at first because I didn’t think there had been enough research, and I suspected this was more about corporate gain than public health. When the vaccine became mandated in the construction industry in WA, I was in a tough position because my visa is attached to my job. So I was faced with the choice of going back home where mandates were equally as strict, or getting the vaccine to keep my job and stay in Australia.
I got my first Pfizer vaccine in my left arm, on 23rd December 2021 at the pop up clinic. I was extremely angry that day because I didn’t want this procedure and I felt coerced. There were police patrolling the clinic as well as security guards and I thought, ‘How odd, if this is voluntary, why do you need police and security at the clinic?’
I felt a little bit dizzy after the vaccine and my heart rushed a little, but otherwise there were no other symptoms. I felt relieved that I didn’t have any immediate effects, but felt a low grade anxiety about long terms effects that we don’t even know about.
I got my second Pfizer vaccine in my right arm, on 31st January 2022, which was the very last day before the construction mandates kicked-in in WA. Again, I felt very angry and was only there because I didn’t want to be deported. The next day, I developed a headache and a fever of 38.2C and had to call in sick to work. By the following day, the fever had subsided, so I didn’t feel too worried. But on the morning of the third day, I woke up with significant chest pain and a strong headache. I stayed in bed that morning, and in the afternoon went to an immigration appointment. While I was there, I mentioned to the officer that I had chest pain. She suggested that I go to the hospital, and so after leaving the appointment I went to the Perth Royal Hospital Emergency Department.
At the hospital they immediately put me in an isolation room and tested me for COVID with a PCR test. While I was waiting for the test result they checked my blood pressure and it was fine. The PCR test came back negative and then they moved me to a regular room where I noticed that other patients were also presenting with chest pain.
I was kept under observation overnight while the hospital staff conducted a range of tests, including blood pressure, blood tests and chest X-ray. The tests all came back clear. The doctor said that I was possibly experiencing a vaccine side effect and gave me a ‘how to treat pericarditis’ info sheet. However, as the tests were inconclusive, I was discharged the following morning with the diagnosis of ‘suspected cardiac disease’ and a prescription for colchicine. The doctor told me they would book me an appointment with an immunologist as my next step. They also suggested that I see my GP to get a referral to a cardiologist.
I decided not to go to my regular GP because he had told me that the vaccine was safe and so I no longer trusted him. I went to see a new GP a few days after my hospital stay to get the cardiologist referral and to also get a medical certificate as I had missed a whole week of work and I wasn’t sure when I would be able to return. The GP advised bed rest until I could see the cardiologist. I was not to work, exercise or go the shops – just rest. I took the colchicine that the hospital doctor prescribed for me for the recommended time – 2 weeks. I didn’t notice a difference in my symptoms.
I saw the cardiologist mid-February. When I explained my symptoms, he told me he had already seen about 250 people with the same symptoms since the start of the vaccine rollout. He did an echocardiogram and said he would be in touch with results in a few days. The results were emailed from his office – they came back clear. I was confused because I was still experiencing pain and pressure in my chest daily, so why were the tests coming back clear?
I went to the GP several more times during February and March to get forms signed for my vaccine injury claim. During these appointments, she said it looked like I had pericarditis from the vaccine, something which she documented for my claim. After a month of bed rest the GP suggested that I might be okay to return to work, so I went back to my job on 6th March. I found it very difficult to complete a full day’s work. I felt weak and my chest hurt all the time, so I had to do lighter work. Luckily, my boss was supportive.
My immunologist appointment was on 23rd March 2022. We had to do it over the phone due to COVID restrictions. I told her about my chest pain and pressure. She asked me about the cardiologist results, which I said came back clear. She said well then there are no problems, and that I should proceed with getting the booster, but just switch to Novavax or AstraZeneca this time. I was so angry. It felt like she really didn’t care. I still had serious daily symptoms and all she wanted to know about was a test result that didn’t give any answers.
During April my symptoms settled a bit to a mild discomfort in my chest, and they have stayed this way. The pain and pressure is less intense and my condition is liveable, but nothing like my former life. I still go to work, but I don’t exert myself in exercise because I’m too afraid to push my luck. A colleague at my workplace was diagnosed with pericarditis after his vaccine but he didn’t rest like I did, and now he is scheduled for heart surgery next month. So I’m very careful. I don’t want to end up in a bad situation like that.
In June I found out that Medicare refused my injury claim. They have requested more proof and documentation. I have to book in with another cardiologist as Medicare won’t accept the GP diagnosis of pericarditis. It appears that the hospital did not document my overnight stay on my discharge summary, which is one of the conditions for claiming. So I will need to find out how to either get the hospital to amend the record, or proceed without it. I have had to engage a lawyer to assist as the documentation and caveats are confusing and the institutions involved are hard to deal with, especially when English is my second language.
So far I have spent nearly $2000 on specialist appointments trying to get a proper diagnosis and to find out how to get better. I lost a month’s wages during the time that I couldn’t work. I joined some social media groups for vaccine injured people and am learning what they do to get better and manage their conditions. I am managing my health by taking supplements, eating well and doing gentle exercise.
Next week I will see a cardiologist and my lawyer. I feel like my life now is a second rate version of what it was before. My quality of life has lessened. I don’t have any acknowledgement from the government that they coerced me into this position and I have not been compensated for the loss of earnings and health that resulted from this. I worry about what will happen in my body in the future. This is a terrible experiment that the government pushed us into.