Helen

helen.JPG

I am 51, married, and have three daughters aged 21, 23 and 25. I live on a beautiful golf course in Mornington Peninsula and work in management for an insurance company.

I have type 2 diabetes which was diagnosed some years ago and is under control. Because of this, I have check-ups with regular tests (including thyroid) with an endocrinologist, which have always returned normal levels. When Covid came along, the resulting lockdowns were good for me and I used them to my advantage to focus more on my health – I wanted to lose weight and get more active. When I went to get my first vaccine, I had gone off carbs and was walking 5km most days.

I had my first Pfizer vaccine on 6 August 2021, thinking I was doing the right thing. Within two weeks, I started to feel fatigued and was losing my breath. I was still trying to go on my regular walks, but my neighbour had noticed I wasn’t myself and was hesitant for me to come because she could see I was struggling. Things didn’t improve from this point.

On the 18 September, five weeks after the first vaccine, I’d just had a shower (which had become a daily struggle) and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I collapsed on the bed and my husband asked if he should call an ambulance – I said yes. I was taken to Peninsula Private where I was admitted for three days. I had all sorts of tests, a CT scan, chest X-rays and bloods done. My oxygen levels appeared ok, and everything was ‘normal’. Before I was discharged, they wanted me assessed by a psychiatrist as I had a bit of family stress at the time. I’d dealt with stress my whole life and it had never affected me physically. I was prescribed medication for mild anxiety. I was discharged on 21 September with ‘cause of symptoms unknown’ and referred to the sleep apnoea clinic to be tested overnight. The results showed I had mild sleep apnoea, which around five percent of the population has (mild requires no treatment).

After I was discharged, I went to my GP to let her know what was going on. I told her I was nervous about getting my second Pfizer jab, which was booked in for 26 September. I told her, “I think I’ve had a reaction to the first one.” She told me I needed to protect myself and encouraged me to go and get it done. I thought to myself of course I do, I have to protect myself from the virus.

On 26 September 2021 I went and had my second Pfizer vaccine. My symptoms worsened but I just lived with them. Between my symptoms and taking some time with my daughter, I took a month off work, and when I returned (I was working from home), I was so fatigued that I had to sleep at lunchtime, and when I logged off at the end of the day I had to have another sleep, then I’d get up to cook dinner and go straight back to bed. I had gone for dinner at a friend’s place two doors down and they picked me up in their golf cart as I didn’t have the energy or breath to walk that far. I couldn’t talk, my voice had become hoarse, and I was breathless. I came home in tears.

My second trip by ambulance was on 13 October. While in the emergency bay, they came to do a chest X-ray on me (results normal) and I heard one of the staff outside the door say. “Another Pfizer patient”. I asked the doctor if this was a reaction to the vaccine and he said, “It could have been a reaction to anything”. They kept me in to monitor me for a few hours but found nothing wrong, so they sent me home and I just continued to live with the symptoms. I knew within myself, and my husband knew too, it was a reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. He told me later that he and my friends had watched me slowly deteriorate since August.

On 4 November, I went to a follow-up cardiologist from the August hospital stay. He told me there was nothing wrong with my heart and discharged me as a patient. Around this time, I started to experience nausea as well, I thought it was from taking my diabetes medication on an empty stomach. Over the following weeks I looked awful, and people were noticing. 

On the morning of 8 December, I told my husband I was going into Melbourne to take my daughter to an appointment, but I didn’t feel well. I was about 15 minutes from home on a call with my mum and told her how I felt, and she convinced me to turn around and go back home. As I turned the car around in the direction of home, I felt severely ill and the last thing I remember was vomiting on myself in the car. I then woke up some time later under hospital lights unaware of what happened, then it was explained to me. I’d passed out driving, went into a ditch then hit a tree. I was extremely lucky there was an off-duty fire-fighter who pulled me from the car.

I was dead.

Another two guys pulled up and the fire fighter had one of them help give me CPR and sent the other to the Bunnings two minutes down the road to get the defibrillator they had there. They were doing CPR on me and had done six or seven zaps with the defibrillator when emergency services arrived about 15 minutes after the crash. I Iater met the firefighter who saved me. We were on the news and interviewed on a podcast (Roll with the Punches, Episode 313). 

In hospital I had a cardiac angiogram and cardiac MRI that revealed ‘No obvious cause of VF (Ventricular Fibrillation) arrest’. They inserted an ICD into my chest as a safety measure (while I was awake, which was not a nice experience) this starts up the electrics of my heart if it was to stop again, but I know in myself it’s not going to happen again.

My cardiac arrest happened during Covid, so due to the quarantine rules I was in hospital on my own, with no family able to see me for the week I was there. The lady I shared the room with was my saviour through this, we formed a special bond. And Karen, Wayne’s wife (Wayne has a similar story to mine) was another I formed a friendship with while in hospital. 

A cardiac registrar came to do his rounds one morning while my twin sister was on FaceTime, and as my memory after all this was terrible, I asked if she could remain on the call and listen while he saw me, which he allowed. She asked him “Could it be from the vaccine?”, and he said, “It could be from the vaccine, and maybe she’s that one in a million”. He has been the only one that hasn’t blatantly dismissed me. I am 99% sure it was the vaccine that caused every symptom and the cardiac arrest. They wondered whether I have a genetic mutation which causes ‘long QT syndrome’ so a referral was done months ago, but I’m still waiting to be contacted for an appointment and testing. To my knowledge there is no long QT in my family. If I don’t have any markers for it, there’s no reason to have the ICD and it should be removed. 

My GP had been supportive through this, but when I went to see her in February (when my booster was due) she still wanted me to have it! I told her I didn’t want to, and she said, “I don’t want your family coming to me when you’re in ICU with Covid” and I said to her “They won’t be coming to you then, but they will if I have the booster and another cardiac arrest.” She responded, “But you’ll be ok because you’ve got the ICD”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – I was speechless. 

I phoned the cardiologist’s office and spoke to a nurse about an exemption. I didn’t need one for work, but I thought it might be helpful in case I wanted to travel. They gave me a referral to the infectious disease clinic and I had a Zoom call with a doctor there. I told him what happened to me and the timeline of events and he said, “I don’t see this having an association with the vaccine, I recommend you go get your Pfizer booster”. I basically told him to get stuffed.

On a phone appointment with my endocrinologist in March 2022, he asked me if I knew I had a ‘Graves disease’ (thyroid) diagnosis. It was on my discharge papers from the cardiac arrest hospital stay in December. Nobody had informed me at the time and he couldn’t believe I wasn’t told. My thyroid levels had been tested during my August hospital stay and were normal, so I’d developed this disease sometime between my first and second vaccine

I hadn’t been on my walks since September 2021, then a couple of weeks ago I was a mess after a psychologist appointment and called my husband to ask if he thought I could handle a walk. I needed to get out, but I’d been so worried about getting my heart rate up and the ICD going off, that it had confined me to home since the cardiac arrest. He said yes, he thought I was up to it, and I trusted his judgement, so I went. I had to stop a few times, but I was on cloud nine when I came back. 

I was recently triggered from a news story about a lady from the UK who lost her husband from the vaccine – I keep thinking of what my family might have faced if I’d had that same fate and become just a number, a statistic. Being confronted with my mortality and living through the trauma afterwards has been, and still is extremely difficult. Physically, I’m seeing some improvement (although with every movement, I feel this ICD thing in my chest and it’s painful and uncomfortable), but mentally I’m deteriorating. I’m frightened and having panic attacks all the time. I’m still very angry about the injustice of all that has happened to me, the lack of accountability and being completely dismissed the moment I mention the vaccine

A return to work was being discussed for June, but there’s no possibility of that right now, I don’t have the capacity to deal with much. I’m a survivor, I should be thriving, but I’m not.

helen.JPG

I am 51, married, and have three daughters aged 21, 23 and 25. I live on a beautiful golf course in Mornington Peninsula and work in management for an insurance company.

I have type 2 diabetes which was diagnosed some years ago and is under control. Because of this, I have check-ups with regular tests (including thyroid) with an endocrinologist, which have always returned normal levels. When Covid came along, the resulting lockdowns were good for me and I used them to my advantage to focus more on my health – I wanted to lose weight and get more active. When I went to get my first vaccine, I had gone off carbs and was walking 5km most days.

I had my first Pfizer vaccine on 6 August 2021, thinking I was doing the right thing. Within two weeks, I started to feel fatigued and was losing my breath. I was still trying to go on my regular walks, but my neighbour had noticed I wasn’t myself and was hesitant for me to come because she could see I was struggling. Things didn’t improve from this point.

On the 18 September, five weeks after the first vaccine, I’d just had a shower (which had become a daily struggle) and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I collapsed on the bed and my husband asked if he should call an ambulance – I said yes. I was taken to Peninsula Private where I was admitted for three days. I had all sorts of tests, a CT scan, chest X-rays and bloods done. My oxygen levels appeared ok, and everything was ‘normal’. Before I was discharged, they wanted me assessed by a psychiatrist as I had a bit of family stress at the time. I’d dealt with stress my whole life and it had never affected me physically. I was prescribed medication for mild anxiety. I was discharged on 21 September with ‘cause of symptoms unknown’ and referred to the sleep apnoea clinic to be tested overnight. The results showed I had mild sleep apnoea, which around five percent of the population has (mild requires no treatment).

After I was discharged, I went to my GP to let her know what was going on. I told her I was nervous about getting my second Pfizer jab, which was booked in for 26 September. I told her, “I think I’ve had a reaction to the first one.” She told me I needed to protect myself and encouraged me to go and get it done. I thought to myself of course I do, I have to protect myself from the virus.

On 26 September 2021 I went and had my second Pfizer vaccine. My symptoms worsened but I just lived with them. Between my symptoms and taking some time with my daughter, I took a month off work, and when I returned (I was working from home), I was so fatigued that I had to sleep at lunchtime, and when I logged off at the end of the day I had to have another sleep, then I’d get up to cook dinner and go straight back to bed. I had gone for dinner at a friend’s place two doors down and they picked me up in their golf cart as I didn’t have the energy or breath to walk that far. I couldn’t talk, my voice had become hoarse, and I was breathless. I came home in tears.

My second trip by ambulance was on 13 October. While in the emergency bay, they came to do a chest X-ray on me (results normal) and I heard one of the staff outside the door say. “Another Pfizer patient”. I asked the doctor if this was a reaction to the vaccine and he said, “It could have been a reaction to anything”. They kept me in to monitor me for a few hours but found nothing wrong, so they sent me home and I just continued to live with the symptoms. I knew within myself, and my husband knew too, it was a reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. He told me later that he and my friends had watched me slowly deteriorate since August.

On 4 November, I went to a follow-up cardiologist from the August hospital stay. He told me there was nothing wrong with my heart and discharged me as a patient. Around this time, I started to experience nausea as well, I thought it was from taking my diabetes medication on an empty stomach. Over the following weeks I looked awful, and people were noticing. 

On the morning of 8 December, I told my husband I was going into Melbourne to take my daughter to an appointment, but I didn’t feel well. I was about 15 minutes from home on a call with my mum and told her how I felt, and she convinced me to turn around and go back home. As I turned the car around in the direction of home, I felt severely ill and the last thing I remember was vomiting on myself in the car. I then woke up some time later under hospital lights unaware of what happened, then it was explained to me. I’d passed out driving, went into a ditch then hit a tree. I was extremely lucky there was an off-duty fire-fighter who pulled me from the car.

I was dead.

Another two guys pulled up and the fire fighter had one of them help give me CPR and sent the other to the Bunnings two minutes down the road to get the defibrillator they had there. They were doing CPR on me and had done six or seven zaps with the defibrillator when emergency services arrived about 15 minutes after the crash. I Iater met the firefighter who saved me. We were on the news and interviewed on a podcast (Roll with the Punches, Episode 313). 

In hospital I had a cardiac angiogram and cardiac MRI that revealed ‘No obvious cause of VF (Ventricular Fibrillation) arrest’. They inserted an ICD into my chest as a safety measure (while I was awake, which was not a nice experience) this starts up the electrics of my heart if it was to stop again, but I know in myself it’s not going to happen again.

My cardiac arrest happened during Covid, so due to the quarantine rules I was in hospital on my own, with no family able to see me for the week I was there. The lady I shared the room with was my saviour through this, we formed a special bond. And Karen, Wayne’s wife (Wayne has a similar story to mine) was another I formed a friendship with while in hospital. 

A cardiac registrar came to do his rounds one morning while my twin sister was on FaceTime, and as my memory after all this was terrible, I asked if she could remain on the call and listen while he saw me, which he allowed. She asked him “Could it be from the vaccine?”, and he said, “It could be from the vaccine, and maybe she’s that one in a million”. He has been the only one that hasn’t blatantly dismissed me. I am 99% sure it was the vaccine that caused every symptom and the cardiac arrest. They wondered whether I have a genetic mutation which causes ‘long QT syndrome’ so a referral was done months ago, but I’m still waiting to be contacted for an appointment and testing. To my knowledge there is no long QT in my family. If I don’t have any markers for it, there’s no reason to have the ICD and it should be removed. 

My GP had been supportive through this, but when I went to see her in February (when my booster was due) she still wanted me to have it! I told her I didn’t want to, and she said, “I don’t want your family coming to me when you’re in ICU with Covid” and I said to her “They won’t be coming to you then, but they will if I have the booster and another cardiac arrest.” She responded, “But you’ll be ok because you’ve got the ICD”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – I was speechless. 

I phoned the cardiologist’s office and spoke to a nurse about an exemption. I didn’t need one for work, but I thought it might be helpful in case I wanted to travel. They gave me a referral to the infectious disease clinic and I had a Zoom call with a doctor there. I told him what happened to me and the timeline of events and he said, “I don’t see this having an association with the vaccine, I recommend you go get your Pfizer booster”. I basically told him to get stuffed.

On a phone appointment with my endocrinologist in March 2022, he asked me if I knew I had a ‘Graves disease’ (thyroid) diagnosis. It was on my discharge papers from the cardiac arrest hospital stay in December. Nobody had informed me at the time and he couldn’t believe I wasn’t told. My thyroid levels had been tested during my August hospital stay and were normal, so I’d developed this disease sometime between my first and second vaccine

I hadn’t been on my walks since September 2021, then a couple of weeks ago I was a mess after a psychologist appointment and called my husband to ask if he thought I could handle a walk. I needed to get out, but I’d been so worried about getting my heart rate up and the ICD going off, that it had confined me to home since the cardiac arrest. He said yes, he thought I was up to it, and I trusted his judgement, so I went. I had to stop a few times, but I was on cloud nine when I came back. 

I was recently triggered from a news story about a lady from the UK who lost her husband from the vaccine – I keep thinking of what my family might have faced if I’d had that same fate and become just a number, a statistic. Being confronted with my mortality and living through the trauma afterwards has been, and still is extremely difficult. Physically, I’m seeing some improvement (although with every movement, I feel this ICD thing in my chest and it’s painful and uncomfortable), but mentally I’m deteriorating. I’m frightened and having panic attacks all the time. I’m still very angry about the injustice of all that has happened to me, the lack of accountability and being completely dismissed the moment I mention the vaccine

A return to work was being discussed for June, but there’s no possibility of that right now, I don’t have the capacity to deal with much. I’m a survivor, I should be thriving, but I’m not.

Source Link

Share this story!

1 thought on “Helen”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *