To provide you some context and background, my oldest daughter, Talitha who is 32 years old, acquired Guillain-Barre syndrome at four-and-a-half years of age after getting her scheduled four-year-old vaccines. This resulted in a regression in learning to use her hands, roll over, and walk, etc. No-one could give us a reason as to why or how she got this. She was one of the first children to ever be diagnosed with it, as it was previously known as a syndrome only adults acquired. Her case ended up being in a medical journal. As an adult, she’s had gross motor skill loss. Since then, most of the family have not had the regular vaccines.
Talitha works in childcare and was mandated to get the vaccines to keep her job. She didn’t want them. None of us did. However, my twin sister Caroll and I decided to support her with it, and all went together to get it at the same time. Our family has Factor V Leiden, a genetic blood clotting disorder, so we all had the Pfizer vaccine. Caroll has had a blood clot in her leg, and most of my family members have had them.
Caroll and I are 65 years old. Last year we were both going to be mandated the vaccine for in our jobs, so we decided to make the move from the Gold Coast area over to Jimboomba to retire 12 months ago. Prior to the vaccine and aside from being overweight, Caroll had mostly bone-related issues, bursitis and arthritis, and was waiting on a knee replacement.
Caroll, my daughter and I all went to get our first Pfizer vaccine on 18 December 2021. I wasn’t affected in any way. Talitha had chills, sweats and nausea, which continued for a couple of months afterwards, and Caroll started getting lower back pain and constipation around the second week of January. She’d had some back pain before, but told the doctor that what she was experiencing was different to what she’d had before.
On the evening of 18 January 2022, she was been constipated and tried to go to the toilet, and when pushing got an instant headache. A short while later she called out to me. She was lying on the bed and had a towel and pillow over her head and was shaking badly.She had excruciating pain in her head and said it felt like something was exploding inside her head. She was telling me to pray and felt like she was going to die. She didn’t want to go to the hospital or in an ambulance at the time because we’d developed a distrust of the system due to my daughter Melanie’s recent medical negligence court case. Caroll said to just leave her there and to see how she went. I gave her some Panadeine Forte and waited to see if she could sleep it off.
The next morning, she had a dull headache but was okay. However, the day after that on 20 January 2022, at around 3pm, the out-of-control shaking happened again. She had been in her bedroom when she stumbled out, and could only get out three words, “Hospital. Happening again.” We got her into the car, and when we were halfway to Beaudesert Hospital she said, “Can’t. Feel. Right. Side.”
I pulled up at the hospital. She was still in the car and still shaking. I ran to the doors, but they’d locked everyone out due to COVID. I was buzzing the intercom saying, “My sister has had a stroke. She’s in the car, I need a wheelchair.” The nurse replied, “Okay, I’ll get one for you,” then asked if we were vaccinated. I said, “Yes, we’ve had one. I need a wheelchair now.” They wouldn’t open the doors and they asked me to wait. Three times I ran back to the car to check on Caroll, and then back to the doors to check where they were. The doors were still locked.
On the third time back to the car, her body had gone limp, I ran back to the doors and was screaming, “My sister has died. my sister has died!” I needed help to get her into a wheelchair.
The nurse took her time coming, and she actually stopped to talk to two ambulance officers who were getting ready to leave. When she finally got to the car, she slapped Caroll’s face to try and bring her around, and Caroll roused. The nurse was telling her to lift her leg and to get out of the car, then was picking up her pant leg like she didn’t want to touch her. I tried to get between her and the chair and said, “If you don’t want to touch her, I’ll do it.” Then, the two ambulance officers pulled up saying they’d help.
When we got to the doors, they didn’t let me in the hospital and I said, “You have no details for her. I need to give them to you – she’s unable to talk!” So, they gave me a mask and let me in.
We were blessed that the doctor on call was a retired neurosurgeon, and once he saw her, he recognised the stroke symptoms straight away. She couldn’t move and was delirious. They were rushing around putting a catheter in, taking vitals, and so on, and called for a helicopter to come and take her to the Princess Alexandra Hospital. They wouldn’t let me go with her, so I went home.
She was in overnight, and because she woke up in the morning able to talk and sit up, they sent her home. I had to buy a blood pressure machine to monitor her every couple of hours.
The following evening, 21 January 2022, we were at home and I saw her standing but wobbling and about to fall. I caught her as she collapsed. I called an ambulance and they took her straight to the PA Hospital, as the Logan Hospital was too busy. It was 11pm by the time they got there. She was told they didn’t have a bed. They wanted to send her home again and asked her if she could get a taxi home which is about 50 minutes away. She fought to stay, as she was able to talk at this point, and they found a bed for her.
I phoned the next morning and they said they couldn’t put her on as she was unable to talk. She’d had two mini strokes overnight. Over the next few days, she had tests; two MRIs and a CT scan, and they diagnosed her with RCVS (Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome), which is a rare condition that occurs as the result of a sudden constriction of the vessels that supply blood to the brain. Strokes are one of the symptoms. They had to prevent her having cramps, so she was on medications every three hours, even during the night, and now it’s down to eight hourly.
I called a close friend of ours from Sydney at 4am the morning following Caroll going to hospital, and our friend arrived in Brisbane by 4pm that afternoon to help out and look after us. She stayed for three weeks. She had had two vaccines and said she was having her booster when she got home. She passed away from a stroke two weeks after she left our house. Not only that, but her grandson in his thirties had suddenly passed away in his sleep in December. As Caroll wasn’t allowed to travel, we had to watch the funeral online, which upset us greatly. My daughter, Melanie, who has carers, took one of her carers with her to Sydney to attend the funeral.
I’m now Caroll’s carer. She has lost her quality of life. She has right-side weakness and can’t stand up very long. She has a wheelie walker now, and we’ve had a ramp put in the house. We thank Jesus that she can walk around with a couple of walking sticks, and that she’s blessed to be able to still talk.
My daughter, Melanie, was 30 years old and lived about 40 minutes away from us. She has struggled with mental illness, specifically borderline personality disorder (BPD) from childhood trauma, but was independent and lived on her own. Almost four years ago, she developed spontaneous compartment syndrome in her leg. Hospital negligence resulted in major delays in getting a diagnosis and treatment, resulting in two muscles dying in her leg. She had been in severe pain for multiple days throughout the ordeal. The delays left her requiring carers for life to help her get around. She took the hospital to court with the case, only settling around two weeks before she died.
Melanie was obese and had recently been on a weight-loss journey, losing 20 kilograms. She knew that if she did not have the vaccine, she wouldn’t be able to have a carer, whom she needed, so she was pro-vaccine. She had two Pfizer vaccines last year, and I’d asked her not to have the booster. She didn’t tell me she’d had it, but her carer confirmed she’d taken her to have it approximately two weeks prior to her death.
Talitha, my other daughter, had spoken to Melanie at around 6pm on 21 May 2022, as it had been Talitha’s daughter’s birthday and Melanie called her to apologise for not being able to make it to the birthday. She’d been in hospital with a kidney stone during that week, staying overnight on the Thursday night, and they let her out on the Friday. They had given her Endone for the pain. She didn’t feel up to going anywhere on the Saturday. Talitha told us later about Melanie’s call and mentioned that she sounded funny. A bit garbled and a bit like she was drunk, but Melanie didn’t drink.
Melanie’s carer arrived at her house at 9:30am on Sunday, 22 May 2022, to take her to church. My daughter didn’t come to the door, but the carer believed she was home, so she called the police to do a welfare check. A policeman and an ambulance officer came and entered the house and found Melanie passed away in her bed.
The carer had known our family well, as she’d been Melanie’s carer for around 15 to 18 months. She told us she’d begged the policeman not to be the one to come and tell us, but he said that legally he had to do it.
The policeman and ambulance officer left Melanie’s house at 11am, but the policeman didn’t arrive at my house to inform me until 5pm that day. When he told me, I asked where I could go and see her to say goodbye. He said she was at the forensic coroners in Brisbane, but they didn’t allow viewings, so I wasn’t able to see her.
The coroner was awful. He wanted to put the cause of death as ‘obesity’, without doing an autopsy. They had not done any post-mortem toxicology tests after her death, which should usually be done soon after, as concentrations and levels change and can impact the findings.
The coroner told us that, ‘She would’ve had an enlarged heart because of obesity’. But she’d not had an issue with her heart before. Her own doctor agreed with this, as she didn’t have prior issues in this area. We got a barrister and a special forensic investigator involved, who said there was enough evidence to do an autopsy. We took it to court, and it was at the three-week mark that the autopsy was finally done.
We might never know her cause of death due to this delay. We’ve been advised the autopsy results will take six to twelve months, because of samples being sent away.
Her funeral was held on the 16 June, three-and-a-half weeks after her death.
My whole issue in this is that people don’t just go to sleep at 30 and not wake up. If I could’ve talked her out of having the vaccine, I would have. I hope that I can save at least one person from having it.
Melanie had dreams of going back to Ireland next year. She’d been there six years ago and loved it. She said that when the court case with the hospital was over and done with, it was time to move on with her life and make plans for the future, and that’s what she was looking forward to.