I’m 23 and a father of three. I work full-time hours as a youth worker. I was extremely active with my kids and my work. I never had any health problems prior to having the COVID vaccination. I was always very healthy and fit. I got vaccinated because it was mandated by my employer and I had to support my family. I was forced into getting it. My only other choice was to become homeless.
I got the COVID vaccine sometime in the beginning of January 2022. Immediately, it felt like my body went into shock, I drank some water and calmed down. Other than that, I just had a sore arm so I didn’t hesitate to get the second one in my right arm on the 5th February 2022.
I was fine until about 12 hours later. I was going to sleep when I got severe stabbing pains in my chest around the heart area. These then moved down my rib cage. Straight away I got up and called the ambulance. When they arrived, they did an ECG and told me that everything was fine. I disagreed and told them they needed to take me to the hospital because I knew something was wrong.
On arrival, I was admitted and put on a bed. They took my bloods, did an ECG and an ultrasound on my heart. All the tests came back clear and they told me there was nothing wrong with me and I was fine to go home They gave me Nurofen and that was it.
Over the next week and a half, I ended up at the hospital another six times. Three times via ambulance and the other three times I drove myself in. I mentioned that I’d had the COVID vaccine and they said it could be a mild reaction but they weren’t sure. Each time I went to the hospital I was told that I was fine. They kept on doing the same tests over and over but couldn’t find anything and kept sending me home empty handed in every way. I was feeling pretty defeated at this stage. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to.
The last time I was at the hospital they decided to refer me to a cardiologist because I kept on telling them that something was very wrong. The cardiologist saw me about a week later and he did an ultrasound, echocardiogram and ECG. He diagnosed me with pericarditis. Finding this out literally drove me to tears. The cardiologist told me that he’d seen a lot of young men with the same thing and he wrote down that this was an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine and prescribed me colchicine.
For the next month, I did as I was told and took the colchicine, it was helping a bit with the pain, but it would come back slightly every now and then. Then I tested positive for COVID and the symptoms returned tenfold. I ended up in hospital again. They tried to put me on the COVID anti-viral medicine which I didn’t trust, so I refused to take it. They kept me in hospital for three nights as a precaution, then discharged me for home quarantine.
For the last two weeks I’ve been taking the colchicine but I’m still getting chest pains that are a seven out of ten as I write this. I’m always extremely fatigued, sleeping way more than usual and struggling to get through the day without having naps. I’ve been working around 20 hours a week but I’m unable to interact with the kids and function in my daily life the way I did before. I’m scared for my life and worried that I won’t get to see my kids grow up. I’ve just accepted that all I have is colchicine and hope that I can recover.