I’m 31 years old and prior to the vaccine, I worked as a boxing coach and lived the life of a professional boxer. I was training between 20 to 25 hours a week and having medicals every few months. I was in peak health and fitness so there was no indication for what was about to become my fate after taking the vaccine.
I wasn’t against the vaccine but I was in no rush to get it either. Due to the amount of peer pressure from being in the position I was in, I ended up getting the vaccine because I was convinced I was doing my part for the greater good.
I got the AstraZeneca on the 29th of June 2021 (left arm) and felt nothing immediately. After 2 – 3 days, my arm started to feel heavy and quite sore. As time passed, the pain subsided more and more each day until I felt nothing and life continued as normal for the next 3.5 weeks.
The borders had just opened up and I had a fight in New Zealand on the 23rd of July. About 10 minutes before the fight, I was doing my warm ups when I started to feel tense, and my body felt stiff and my breathing was off. My precision and balance was off and I wasn’t feeling myself at all. I walked down the stairs towards the ring stumbling all over the place (imagine a drunk person stumbling). I’m usually quite an animated person but I just had nothing in me.
The fight started and my opponent was in range but I couldn’t make myself do what I wanted to do. Obviously, he did what he was supposed to and he started hitting me. My vision felt like a strobe light going on and off. Somehow, I made it through the first round.
My coach told me to get it together and when I jumped back into the ring for round 2, the strobe light effect happened again. My opponent was hitting me but my right side felt dead, and I was only able to swing my left arm around out of desperation to do something. I was knocked down once, twice and on the third time, my coach threw in the towel.
I was conscious and stumbled out of there to the backrooms, and later made my way back to my accommodation where I slept fine and woke up fine the next day. Later that day at the driving range, I was unable to hit a golf ball because my coordination was totally off the mark. I awkwardly laughed it off with my team and later went back to my accommodation.
The next day I flew back home to Australia and aside from feeling a little tired, I was fine on the flight. I picked up my car from my parents house and on the drive to my house, I hit the gutter 3 times. I didn’t make the connection that these occurrences were due to the vaccine or that anything serious had happened to me at this point. I felt reasonably fine but thought it was strange how my coordination was off.
I was back at work on Monday, and whilst taking punches on the pads, I started to feel uncoordinated again. I decided I needed to do something about what I was experiencing and went to see my GP. He ordered a CT which came back clear and when I failed some of the coordination drills, he then ordered an MRI.
By the time I got out of the MRI machine, the doctor said I needed to see my GP straight away. I got to my GP to find out I’d had a stroke. I didn’t believe him at first and I threw the question at him, “Are you serious, man!?” At this point, I knew he was serious. We later found out the stroke was in the caudate nucleus which is the part of the brain responsible for my fine motor skills.
He referred me to a leading neurologist who specialises in strokes and started me on physio. I’ve been very proactive since, attending 4 different rehabilitation centres and doing my own therapy. I’ve even bought children’s books to teach myself how to write and use a pencil because I couldn’t even write my own name. I struggle to use keys, phones, and picking up objects.
About a week after my diagnosis, I saw my GP. He told me he was confident it was the Astra Zeneca jab. All the other specialists flat out dismissed the idea because I was two days outside of the adverse jab reaction window.
In August, I underwent a TransOesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE) where a camera is inserted down my oesophagus to photograph the structure of my aorta. This came back clear showing no holes in my heart. In September, I underwent the next procedure which is a loop recorder, linked to my phone via Bluetooth to monitor my heart activity.
This brings me to the current day where I’m about 90 percent of my old self. I still experience a bit of brain fog, and my coordination and reactions are not nearly as good as what they were prior to the vaccine. I can no longer box and haven’t put my gloves on since. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fight again.