I am 28 years old, trained as a cardiac nurse initially and then transferred to a casual nursing position that allows me to work in all areas of the hospital approximately four days per week. I am currently not working due to my health complications following the vaccine.
Prior to the COVID vaccine I was a perfectly healthy, active person. I wasn’t the type to sit around, I enjoyed doing a lot of aerial type fitness, mainly lyra, and loved playing basketball at the local court, learning to surf, skateboarding, roller skating and pretty much any new activity. Anything to stay entertained and active. I also went to the gym five to six days a week. Before the vaccine I was content and happy and did not have any heart issues whatsoever. I was not against the vaccine entirely, but I was heavily against being used as a guinea pig and wanted to wait longer before getting the vaccine.
One day at work, the Ward Manager suddenly came out to us and said, “So who isn’t planning on getting the vaccine?” The majority of us put our hands up and he then said, “Well I assume you guys are already looking for new jobs then?” After that someone came around with a list and said, “Who has changed their mind now?” I explained that I thought that it was still early days and not thoroughly tested, and asked if we could wait a bit longer because I’d be more comfortable with that. But I also thought to myself, “Surely they wouldn’t want to give us anything that was going to harm us?”
So, I ended up putting my name down on the list.
Barely a week later I was called off the ward during my shift to go and get the first COVID vaccine on 2nd April 2021. I can’t remember if it was my left or right arm, but I do know that between the two vaccines, I had one in each arm.
After the first vaccine I went back to the ward to work. About two and a half hours later I began receiving comments from my colleagues stating that I looked terrible, everyone walking past me was asking if I was okay and saying I didn’t look so good. I could barely keep my eyes open and I wasn’t making any sense with my responses. They took me to the main nurses’ station at the front of the ward and took my vitals. My blood pressure and heart rate were through the roof, I was so disorientated that I couldn’t tell them my date of birth or any other details apart from my first name. The nurse in charge was concerned and sent me to ED immediately in a wheelchair. I don’t recall anything that happened after that.
I took a week off work and eventually came right about a week and a half later. I started to get my memory back, the intense fatigue I had eventually faded, and I was back to normal. I just noticed I had an elevated heart rate even when seated. I wasn’t too concerned at that stage and expected that it would return to its usual rate once some more time had passed.
Some staff and managers on the ward were cautious about me getting my second vaccine because of what they had witnessed the first time around. To people who asked what happened and weren’t there at the time, I was saying I had the vaccine and the reaction happened after it. I started receiving some funny looks from a select few of the staff every time it was brought up, so I started keeping it to myself and stopped mentioning it, thinking I must have been over exaggerating.
I had my second Pfizer vaccine a few weeks later, 23rd April 2021. Not long after my brain went fuzzy again and I began having the same reaction, although this time I felt like it was harder to breathe than usual. I was on shift at the time and taken off the ward again to receive the second vaccine, but this time was unable to return to my shift and was taken straight to ED. From there, I only partially recall what happened. I know that I was abusive to staff, which is very out of character for me, especially behaving like that in my workplace. I kept trying to leave the hospital against medical advice and was constantly kept trying to escape. They were going to put me under the Guardianship Act and hold me there against my will because I was so non-compliant and not thinking straight. There wasn’t a free doctor around to file the paperwork so, instead, they kept security on standby near my bed, which was humiliating.
My heart rate was extremely elevated, and I was very short of breath, but all I wanted to do was leave and go home to rest, even though I should have known better and stayed. My judgement was clearly impaired at this stage. I was also uncomfortable being there as it was my workplace and I work with these people regularly. It was embarrassing because I was acting inappropriately and completely out of character. I knew that I couldn’t drive home, so I walked as I didn’t live very far from there at the time. I was living alone at this stage. I called and had a chat to a friend on the way home for reassurance. I was quite upset about the whole thing. They insisted I should go back to the hospital because I didn’t sound like myself and that I was being quite emotional and aggressive. I ignored the advice and eventually I made it home.
Again, it took me about a week until I felt somewhat okay. Shortly after, I started feeling odd changes in my chest. At first I noticed my heart was thumping quite intensely and I was always aware of my heart beating, whereas before, I could never feel it. Then I started having frequent ectopic rhythms and moderate chest pain. At about the two and a half to three week mark I started getting excruciating chest pain and my heart felt ‘swollen’ so I went to my regular GP. They listened with a stethoscope but refused to do an ECG, even though I requested one.
They didn’t really listen to me as they believed my chest pain was musculoskeletal. I really knew that something wasn’t right though, so I sought a second opinion. Unfortunately, the second doctor did the same thing and wouldn’t do an ECG. This doctor just told me that I had anxiety, so I started questioning myself and left it at that. I kept having chest pains, tachycardia and extremely frequent ectopic beats for a while. I thought if something sinister was going on the doctors would surely send me for tests, so maybe I was going crazy and the situation isn’t that bad. So I decided to just put up with it for a while.
The real problem started a few months after. I’d just gotten home and was doing random things around the house. I went into my room and sat on my bed. I sat down quite forcefully and my heart went into complete overdrive. I had the worst tachycardia I’d ever felt, my heart was going so fast I couldn’t even count quick enough to measure the rate and see where my pulse was sitting. I ran into the lounge room where my family was sitting, I’d had to move home eventually as I couldn’t work enough at this stage to afford my rent. I was very distressed but trying to remain as calm as I could. My sister noticed the colour had completely drained from my face and I was shaking uncontrollably, similar to a mild seizure.
My sister was very worried and immediately went to call an ambulance. I stopped her from doing it right away because I wanted to wait and see if it subsided on its own. I also wanted to avoid being taken back to my workplace and humiliating myself further. It only got worse though, so my sister went on to call the ambulance as I was starting to feel like I was going unconscious.This scared me enough that I started saying my goodbyes to my family, trying to right my wrongs I suppose, as silly as it might sound. I felt like I was truly about to die. I put my smart watch on, and my heart rate was varying from 200 to 250 beats per minute – over double the resting limit. It was a horrific feeling and it was quite frightening for my family to see me like that. The tachycardia then suddenly stopped out of the blue and I told my sister to cancel the ambulance.
A few hours after it suddenly started again and continued on and off until later that evening. Eventually my heart came back into normal rhythm. However, it continued to do this every day at least five or six times a day, with the episodes lasting anywhere from five minutes to 25 minutes. I went to my GP quickly and was finally referred on to a cardiologist. I described my heart issues to the cardiologist. He said that it sounds like SVT (abnormal heart rhythm) and prescribed medication which helped slightly. However, I then started getting episodes of bradycardia (abnormally low heart rate).
My heart rate was dropping down to 29 – 35 beats a minute during my sleep. I would suddenly wake up gasping for air, drenched in sweat, tremoring and very confused. So, I developed a fear of sleeping and began keeping myself awake most nights. Some nights I only slept for one hour. I started getting angry. I was angry because I wasn’t getting the help I needed from the medical system and I felt like I wasn’t being heard. I would stay in my room all day crying and unable to eat from the anxiety it was causing me, and I assume the lack of sleep as well. I was scared for my life and lived in constant fear. As a nurse I knew my heart was going way too fast but was told repeatedly that it was from anxiety. I knew it wasn’t! The anxiety was caused from what I had been going through for months. I needed help but no one was helping me or giving me any useful advice.
I was going into waves of bad depression. I couldn’t do simple tasks I could previously, and became angry at the world and started to isolate in my room most days. June this year, (2022), I had lost so much weight. I went from 57kgs down to 49kg in a very short time frame. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do simple things like brushing my teeth or showering without passing out, I couldn’t do any activities I could before all of this, I couldn’t even get scared about my heart and my health as it would only cause another episode.
Once my GP saw the change in me at my next visit I was then trialled on another medication for my heart, which also only slightly helped. I had a stress echo (ECG) that showed signs of intermittent Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and another echo that showed my mitral valve had prolapsed. I was so sick of GPs and the cardiologist, that I decided that I’d just go to ED the next time it happened because I couldn’t live like this anymore.
I had another episode and got someone to drive me to ED in fear of the episode stopping prior to an ambulance arriving and feeling like I’d wasted their time. I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I was driven into ED and given a bed. I had at least 20 episodes of tachycardia during that night where my heartrate went between 170 – 220 during these episodes. I had a few ‘code blues’ called during this time. They told me that it wasn’t supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and there were no signs of WPW at this stage, it seemed like it was just tachycardia. They kept me in for eight days in the cardiology unit. An electrophysiology (EP) study was done where they placed a tube in the vessels of my groin and fed wires from there up to my heart to test my heart’s electrical activity. I was completely conscious throughout the whole procedure and it was a horrible experience. They finished that and didn’t end up finding much as I was on medication at the time, so they were unable to induce any arrhythmias. A different medication was prescribed after the procedure, and I was diagnosed with POTS and Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST) in the end.
Right before I went to hospital, I had become so depressed and suicidal that I began making a suicide plan – as stupid as it sounds. I was researching countries that would allow foreign people to come and participate in an assisted dying program for mental health reasons, because I knew I couldn’t do it myself and I couldn’t bear to keep going like this. I couldn’t handle being stuck in bed every day and using aids such as a shower chair to complete the simplest of tasks. I was a young, healthy woman who was really loving my life before the COVID vaccine but now all I could think of was how I wanted my suffering to just end.
My family didn’t understand what I was experiencing so I had zero support around me – physically, mentally and financially. With all the medical issues I felt like I was never going to get better, and this was very hard to look past. I was terrified and I had never been at a lower point in my life, ever. The new medication I was prescribed in hospital, ivabradine, somewhat helped, but it had nasty side effects. It made me very dizzy, extremely fatigued and I had no appetite from feeling so nauseated. But it did help decrease my heart rate and was the most effective one I’ve tried yet.
Due to the side effects though, my life was severely impacted and I still couldn’t complete daily tasks or return to my active lifestyle without spending a week in bed after or passing out. I still get tachycardia and frequent ectopic beats. The new medication actually made them worse unfortunately, but they eased up slightly as my body got used to the tablet. It has significantly reduced the episode frequency. They went from daily to weekly and I was happy with that. I have now begun having spasms in my heart, which I am going back to see the doctor for. The fainting is still an issue. I was at the park with my niece and went unconscious whilst pushing her on a swing. I was found passed out in my wardrobe. I leant on the sliding door when I felt dizzy during an episode and it must have slid open when I fell over, so I tumbled inside of it. I also passed out in the shower a number of times. I am still not able to work, shower without a chair, or raise my arms above my head to wash my hair, brush it, or put it up. I have been told this is the best the doctors can do. I feel completely discarded and, even worse, left with no answers. All the tests and medications have drained my bank account. I went through my entire savings and must remain living with family as rental amounts are just too high right now, especially for someone who isn’t working.
I ‘did the right thing’ and yet no one is trying to help even though listening and trusting the medical system has flipped my entire life upside down.
As mentioned, the vaccine injury has taken a huge toll on my mental health, and the medical gas-lighting made me feel like I was going nuts, until I started hearing other people come forward with their stories. I noticed other people were experiencing chest pain and diagnosed with myocarditis and pericarditis following the vaccine. I knew straight away I could have possibly had this too, but will now never know because there were no tests done to diagnose this early enough. I was secretly recommended to a good doctor who has been studying the effects of the COVID vaccine. I started seeing him and receiving his recommended treatments about a month ago now.
We recently found my D-dimer levels are constantly elevated, and I completed a test that showed I now have a blood clotting disorder. I have had some signs of blood clots throughout my body every now and then. Mainly very mild. My legs swell up and become red and blotchy and I have had random attacks of chest pain where I can barely inhale because it is too painful. The new doctor is thinking that I am getting micro clots in my legs and lungs, but this is still being investigated at the moment and doesn’t seem to be a huge worry just yet.
Currently, I am still injured. It is devastating but I’ll take being at 50% rather than the 2% I was at before. Throughout my time working at the hospital, I have had several patients die on me from blood clots and other heart related complications. Some only had their vaccine two days prior to their death, and these were not patients that we would have expected to pass on. One patient suddenly turned purple/blue and began foaming from their mouth, I could see he had stopped breathing. Before I was able to gown up in my PPE and enter the room, they were gone, and they had a no resuscitation order on their file so nothing could be done. It was the quickest, most horrible death I had ever seen. The sad part is that it was a parent of one of my friends.
I’ve seen a lot of young people have problems after the vaccine. Young people in their twenties suddenly going into cardiac arrest and not making it. It’s awful as we have to sit back and just watch it. We can’t say anything to bad mouth or blame the COVID vaccine. It makes me sick that I have been part of this system. I don’t agree with it and can’t sit back anymore and continue to watch these things happen. So, I decided to tell my story. Sorry it was a long one. I want people to know that this is also happening to people who work in health and the emergency services. It’s just hard for us to speak openly about it. It is happening to us, the people that used to really believe and trust the system.
If I can help change one mind and help someone having the same issues as me know they are not alone, then I’d be happy that I played my small part. To those that are experiencing issues, please trust your instincts. It IS happening to you, you know it is. You know your body.
Medical gaslighting is real and I do believe there is something that this vaccine has done to us, and we know it. The doctors are just scared to come out, even though many would love to. Stand your ground and don’t give in if you are brushed off by health workers, like I have been. Get a fourth or fifth opinion if you need to. You know what your body is telling you. Don’t doubt yourself.
I would love to hear any advice on what has helped others for their injuries, any injuries, so that I can help others who have them too. And of course, I would especially appreciate any advice some may have regarding heart issues similar to what I am experiencing. Please email me, even if it’s something small. Everything and anything is helpful in some way.