My name is Duilio. I am originally from Rome, Italy, and I have been in Australia since 2013. This is what I have been through post-vaccination.
A couple of months ago I was a happy and healthy 33-year-old, with my wife and my little one who is now 10 months old. I was exercising daily, and I work in a big oil refinery as a welder-boilermaker.
On the 31st of October 2021, I received my first vaccine. I felt like it was the right thing to do. I had the common symptoms like a sore arm, headache and shortness of breath, but I was back to my normal self within 48 hours.
On the 21st of November 2021 I had my second vaccine (my company made it mandatory for work), and I had the same symptoms but worse, with compression on the chest and strong scapular pain. This lasted for a couple of weeks.
Three months after the second vaccine I was obligated to have a third, which I had on 2nd March, 2022 (my company made it mandatory to have the booster). After this, I was exhausted all the time, my chest was constantly sore, and it felt like someone was squeezing it from the inside. My head was always throbbing and I had no energy to do anything.
Eighteen days after my third vaccine I had tingling hands and cramps in my chest. After checking the ECG, my GP said there was nothing to worry about and that it was muscular cramps because I had been cutting the grass that morning. He sent me home. For the next two days I felt shortness of breath and tiredness at work.
Twenty days post booster, I had my first atrial fibrillation heart attack at work. I collapsed on the ground and my colleague called an ambulance. This is when I had my first hospital visit.
The ambulance picked me up from work and we headed to the emergency room. I got in to see someone pretty quickly, they did an ECG, chest X-ray and checked my blood. They said my heartbeat was irregular and it may be myocarditis. The diagnosis ended up being arrhythmia. They sent me home after seven hours and suggested I wear a 24-hour Holter monitor, and if I have another attack to call triple zero.
Two days later I was at home with horrific stabbing chest pain. My arms were really heavy and I was in a lot of pain. My heart rate had risen to 170bpm, so my wife called the ambulance. They said to take one aspirin 500mg.
After ten minutes the ambulance arrived and slowly my body began to stabilise, only shaking from the adrenaline. I was given the diagnosis of sinus arrhythmia with right axis deviation T-wave abnormality, and possible anterior ischemia. I ended up in emergency and got another ECG, another x-ray and another blood test, then I was sent to the waiting room.
I waited there for six hours before they sent me home, saying if I have another reaction to call triple zero and that my heart had stabilised so there was nothing wrong. They said that my blood test was showing inflammation, but they didn’t know what was causing that.
Over the next 3-4 hours I started experiencing shooting body pains, weak and achy joints, dizziness and light-headedness, memory loss, chest pain, no appetite and light palpitations. My wife decided it was time for me to go to the hospital again. Again they did ECG and blood tests, and because the ECG was showing something abnormal, they let me stay 24 hours in a room with the Holter monitor.
In the morning I was having light palpitations, and they gave me 100mg of aspirin. Finally, the cardiologist came to visit me and just from looking at the monitor, he discovered I have an arrhythmia with atrial tachycardia, and that my heart was irritated. He gave me Atenolol (a beta blocker) to control my heart beat, and then booked me in for an echocardiogram and stress test after one month.
During this time the side effects of atenolol caused acid reflux, shortness of breath, tiredness and high blood pressure. I ended up in hospital another three times. The tests came back saying I had severe reflux, so they gave me pantoprazole 20mg to take every day. The cardiologist changed my tablet from atenolol to metoprolol. With this new tablet I have side effects and I have lost 15kg, but it’s more controllable since the cardiologist has increased the dose.
At the end of April, 2022 I had my stress test appointment. After the test, the cardiologist said I was healthy, only my heart has inflammation and with the tablets I should be fine within four months. He also said, quote, “I wouldn’t have sent you for any more tests”. I asked if all this could be caused from the vaccine and he replied that it was a very tricky question, hard to say yes or no, and that maybe it was a coincidence.
The TGA and Specialist Immunisation Services Clinic contacted me by phone, and after listening to my story they said it was not due to the covid vaccine because all the problems started after two weeks, and nothing had happened in the first 48 hours. They said the vaccine was not mandatory, and that only some companies were making it compulsory and that they don’t hold any responsibility.
At 33 years old, I shouldn’t be the way I am, I should be able to exercise daily and get through work with no issues. The fact that I am being told one thing and then the other is so frustrating. I am not getting any answers, or the help I need, and it really pains me.
Before, I trusted the government and TGA. But now every time I see a medical professional, I feel like I am being judged and not listened to. I thought I was doing the right thing by getting vaccinated, but now I wonder if life would have been different if I hadn’t. I just want to be able to live my life and get back to what I was able to do just a few months ago.
I am sorry for anyone who is going through a similar situation, and I hope you find answers soon if you haven’t already. Thank you for taking the time to share our stories.