My name is Em. I am 39 years old and have been working in horticulture for the last five years. I have a small family consisting of my husband and son, who has special needs. I am his primary carer and usually fit my work around his appointments and schooling. I am self-employed
Prior to the COVID vaccine I had very mild asthma and was more than capable of living a very active lifestyle with my family. I would run around and get the most out of our weekends with my family. Other than a quarterly health check, I never had the need to go to the doctors like I do now.
I thought I was doing the right thing, with COVID going around and having a child with special needs and respiratory issues. We often had appointments at the local children’s hospital. My child was always petrified of hospital as he’s been admitted 27 times for respiratory sickness. However, to accompany him, I was required to have two vaccinations. I have always had the required vaccinations, as has my son. However, he did not have the COVID vaccines. I am pro-choice and respect people’s decisions. However, I was hesitant because there wasn’t enough evidence that this was safe. I didn’t want it, but the doctors were very pushy and made me believe I was doing what was right and that it was safe.
I had my first Pfizer vaccine 23rd July 2021 in my left arm and felt fine. I actually didn’t even give it a second thought. Life went on as normal, working in client’s gardens, doing markets for my business and generally living a very busy life with my family.
On 16th August 2021, my life change for the worst. I had the second Pfizer vaccine in my left arm. Immediately I felt nothing and didn’t think anything of it until a few days later. I had soreness, headaches, fatigue and general fuzziness. I was told this was normal and to refer to the information regarding standard side effects. On 26th August I stood up in the lounge clutching my chest. My partner said we best go to the doctors to get checked, so we went to our local emergency centre. They then ran an ECG and sent me straight to hospital. The ECG was showing my heart rate was 146bpm resting and they thought I had an incoming heart attack. I was kept in hospital for 12 hours and told that I may have pericarditis. A chest X-ray showed nothing and my bloods came back normal, so I was sent home on the basis that there was nothing they could do for me.
For the next two weeks I persisted, thinking that there was nothing wrong with me and this would pass as I was told it was just anxiety. However things never improved, and my symptoms got significantly worse. During this time I had a Telehealth call. I was told that this was normal but I didn’t accept this and went to see my GP. I presented all symptoms to my GP, to which I was told just to take Aspirin and everything would be fine. I asked him if I could have been allergic to something in the vaccine, but he responded saying, “Not likely” and that no one had shown any reactions and that it was safe, according to medical standards.
I was at work when suddenly I felt sharp pain in my chest and down my left arm. I clutched my chest and woke up in hospital. I was told that I was found unconscious in the garden for about 25 minutes and I had smashed my head on a timber beam when I passed out. I have a nice big scar on the lefthand side of my head from the impact. I was taken into hospital by ambulance, but I have no recollection of this. Upon waking, I was kept and monitored for 8 to 12 hours. They ran blood tests and also chest and head X-rays. They noted that my heart rate was high, but felt I was good to go home. I was discharged with an outpatient request to see a cardiologist for further testing and given Aspirin to take.
The next week, in September 2021, I had my appointment with the cardiologist. I mentioned this was a vaccine Injury, but I was dismissed. They ran more tests, including an echo and Holter monitor test. I was told that there were some slight abnormalities and that I likely had pericarditis. I was then told it would fix itself over a period of six months.
From September 2021 through to July 2022 I basically had no help from anyone. I just had to run with the advice I was given, which was to take my medication and rest. During this time, I couldn’t work or function like my old self, my family was suffering and my financials were dwindling due to the cost of medical treatment. I have now had to close my business and rely on my husband to just scrape by. I have tried to get on disability payments but I have been denied.
In March 2022 I contracted COVID and Legionaries disease both at the same time. This almost killed me. I was bedridden for six weeks, ended up in hospital for two nights then had a nurse at home for one week. This was during the heightened period of COVID in Adelaide. I was so sick that we had to call an ambulance. When they arrived they did a RAT test which came back negative. They also did my observations which came back normal, and told me there was no point in taking me in. I was told to see my GP on Monday. However, I was way too sick and my condition rapidly declined. My husband made the call and took me to hospital.
My husband was unable to come inside the hospital as he wasn’t vaccinated. There were so many people there that I was put in the main waiting room. They made me wear a mask and a visor. I was struggling to breathe and profusely sweating so much so, that I passed out on the floor. A bystander came to help me up and told the nurses that I needed to be seen urgently.
They put me in a COVID room and ran all the tests again, to which they told me I was fine and to go home. I took it upon myself to get a PCR test at a local clinic the next day and that came back COVID positive. I contacted my GP as I needed to be on steroids and antibiotics. I also did a phlegm sample test, which is when they found I had Legionaries disease. For the next six weeks I was on several medications, and it was a long hard recovery. This was one of the biggest struggles of my life.
In August 2022 I found a private cardiologist who has been amazing! She has listened and acknowledged that this is a COVID vaccine injury and has proceeded to put a claim in for me. She tested me from scratch, including performing an MRI which I was denied by the hospital. She has also done an echo, stress test and Holter monitor. The MRI instantly showed pericarditis all around my heart and coronary ischaemia due to blockages in my two main arteries and valves.
On these findings she has ordered me to have surgery where they will investigate the blockages and possibly put valve sleeves in. She gave me several medications to take daily, just so my heart would function until the date of surgery which is tomorrow, 16th November 2022. I’m petrified to be honest. I’m afraid that I’m not going to wake up and of all the things that will follow. I’m not even sure that this will work from the get-go. I have been told that I will heal within 12 months and here I am, 39 years old, about to have heart surgery.
I can no longer work and am constantly stressed on how I am going to survive financially. My husband’s wage covers the basics, but not business costs and other things. I am on bed rest and have been for the last six weeks. I feel constantly fatigued, tight chested and have heart attack pains from my legs to my heart. I vomit a lot due to the huge quantities of medication I am on and generally feel like life as it is now, is not worth living. It’s my husband, son and friends that keep me going and quietly cheering me on. I am mentally and physically exhausted from the past year and what is coming ahead.
I studied horticulture, as I fell in love with the outdoors. Now all I can do is sit outside when I am not too tired. I want my life back.