My name Is Faith, I’m 16, soon to be 17. A lot of you have probably already heard about me through Gerard Rennick and later on, through the Channel 7 news. I was one of the first publicised victims of the COVID vaccine adverse reactions which happened 6 months ago.
Before all of this I was attending school, working a part time job and learning to drive. I was very successful in most things I participated in. I was a healthy, physically fit and mentally stable happy girl. I hadn’t heard of any adverse reactions and as my job was in a pharmacy and with everything I heard about COVID, I thought it was a good idea to get the vaccine. After all, the Tasmanian government was very persistent about how safe and effective it was. I was one of the first in my age group to get the vaccine in Launceston.
I wish that I had done more research.
I got my first Pfizer vaccine on the 24th of July. I had the usual itchy arm and other than that, everything was fine. I got the second Pfizer vaccine on the 7th of August. I didn’t feel anything other than a sore arm for the first 24 hours, but 3 days later I woke up to a 9.5 out of 10, stabbing pain under my rib cage that made me feel nauseous and wanting to vomit. As the day went on without improvement, I went to my GP and he had suspicions that it was my appendix and that I needed to go straight to the hospital.
When I arrived at the hospital there was around six or seven hours of waiting around. They ran bloods, an ultra sound and an X-ray and put me on a drip in the waiting room, something which I have since found out is illegal. After all of that they pumped me full of pain killers, told me I had a stomach bug and that I was fine to go home. I was home for 24 hours, and although the pain killers were pretty good, I was still not feeling great at all so my mum took me back up to the hospital. When we arrived we mentioned I was there the night before and explained the situation. One of the surgeons came and had a look at me. They acknowledged something wasn’t right and after waiting around another six hours they came and told me that my Vitamin D level was low and they put me on a Vitamin D drip and admitted me to the kid’s ward in Launceston General Hospital. They said that they would go in and do a precautionary laparoscopic surgery on my appendix to look for any abnormalities.
I waited all the next day for the surgery and they made me fast for 24 hours without water. That night I went into surgery. I woke an hour after surgery in a great deal of pain to find that they decided to take my appendix out and they put me back in the kid’s ward to sleep until the next day.
The next morning they came in, they said the surgery was successful and everything was great and because of COVID they were able to release me early.
I went home and for the next two weeks I was resting a lot, still experiencing the same sharp stabbing pains under my ribcage with no change, without appetite and not sleeping very well. Because I’d just come out of surgery, I just thought I was recovering from that.
After two weeks I went back to my GP for a post-surgery check-up. He was still concerned about what I was feeling so he sent me back up to the ED. On arrival, the doctor was concerned I was suffering from porphyria so got the haematologist involved. But everything came back clear. They tested me for lupus, mast cell disorder, thyroid, everything you can think of, but everything came back fine. It was then that they told me that there was also nothing wrong with my appendix according to the report. It said there was no appendicitis. They just said they took it because ‘we don’t really need it’. My mum mentioned the vaccine for the first time and the surgeon laughed and told me not to be so silly. They didn’t know what to do so they gave me pain killers and sent me home.
The next day I wasn’t well at all. Mum rang Tele-health and went through everything that had happened. They told us to go us straight back to the hospital. On arrival, they gave me pain relief and tablets for nausea, they had someone from gynaecology and paediatrics come down. I was then admitted for two nights and they treated me for the pain and nausea so I could at least get a bit of rest. They eventually said I could be having this at home, so they sent me home.
For the next week I was still in lots of pain, taking pills and trying to stay hydrated and rest as much as possible, but the pain wouldn’t subside. We went back to the GP and he brought up that he was worried I had a mast cell disorder. He then referred me to a Professor of Immunology and a paediatrician.
When we saw the Professor of Immunology my mum asked him if this was from the vaccine and he said that it was, but in writing he didn’t say it was because of the vaccine. Instead, he wrote it was a post-viral symptom, which is not what he told us in conversation. We put in an official complaint to the hospital as did Senator Rennick. The Professor rewrote the letter and corrected the report to say that this was a delayed adverse reaction to the Pfizer vaccine.
A week after that my pain was getting to the point it was no longer manageable, so I went back to the hospital again… I was there for about four and a half hours until they sent down a registrar from the paediatrics department.
I was admitted straight away to the kid’s ward and they gave me medication to sleep. At 2am that night I awoke to what was the first time I experienced my first tic.
The nurse informed my mum to get her camera out and start filming this. She said we needed this footage. The registrar was called in and there was the look of horror on her face. She said she had never seen anything like this. She was crying and saying that she doesn’t know what to do. Meanwhile I was still having a violent tic episode. The doctor decided to give me some Valium and it helped with the tic, it slowed down but did not go completely and lasted for about two hours. Finally I just passed out from exhaustion.
The next day I woke up and I felt like I’d just finished a 10k marathon, and that’s when the day-time tics started. My medication was changed, and they kept me in hospital for the next three days, they then sent me home without anything but medication and still with the tics happening. They didn’t seem to concerned about the tics at all. To this day the tics have not stopped. They have actually gotten worse. They are happening every night and lasting up to four hours an episode and are extremely painful. It’s a 10 out of 10 muscle like pain. It’s like my muscles are pulling and spasming all over my body, convulsion-like. I can’t control it and the more I try, the more it hurts, so I just have to let myself go.
Early December I ended up back at hospital again because things were getting worse. The triage nurse said, “I was very lucky I didn’t get COVID because it could’ve been worse and killed me”. I waited four hours with my mum and asked for Panadol, but they wouldn’t even give me that. We were then ushered into a small room with a chair that looked like a dentist’s chair in it. There was a senior paediatrician and two registrars and one of them knew my ordeal. He asked a number of times where our car was for some unknown reason, and then said continuously pointing his finger at my mum, “Be very firm with Faith. This has all been caused by too much screen time”. At that point my mum had a gut-full and we did not accept that as final and left in disgust!
Fast forward to three weeks ago. I had really bad pain and nausea and I was told I had to return to the hospital again. I was told I needed fluids. I didn’t want to go but I did. Again they ran some more bloods. The doctor couldn’t figure out what was going on and said she couldn’t give me a drip and told me they were not going to give me any pain killers either. The treating doctor had an emergency, so she left. When she came back, she took me to a room in the back corner of the hospital and did acupuncture on me in the ED! She was patronising, telling me to breathe through the pain and that I was just going to have to live with it all while I was literally crying in pain. In the end, they just sent us home. I hadn’t even had a drink of water in three days as I hadn’t been able to keep anything down. I would just vomit anytime I tried. I had to force myself to get rehydrated with icy poles as it was all I could manage.
Since then, I haven’t been back to hospital and I don’t want to.
At the end of October there was a referral made to the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for the adolescent clinic and I was put on a waiting list. They accepted the referral. Fast forward – we went back to the GP to update the referral because my condition has been deteriorating at a faster pace. Imagine a snowball effect. It’s getting harder and harder every week. On the 28th of January 2022 I found out my referral was rejected on the grounds that I’m out of the region, something which hasn’t been an issue before. We aren’t sure if that is because of the Code Brown that is currently in place, but the GP and paediatrician have been making referrals for the last 15 years with no problem.
Now we are looking for somewhere else to help me.
Currently I can’t use glass cups and mugs anymore just in case I accidentally throw one and smash it because of the random tics. I can’t learn to drive anymore, I can’t work but they said I can return when I’m better, I can’t follow my career and I haven’t been to school in six months! I have extreme light and noise sensitivity on and off. I take an average of 20 pills a day plus liquid medicine. I have memory loss, concentration difficulties and the latest symptom is my legs collapsing on me out of nowhere and then me having to be carried.