My partner and I were overjoyed when we found out we were expecting in October last year. It was going to be our first child. We both live and work in Central Queensland in the mines. I am an electrician and my partner is a fitter.
When I was just five weeks pregnant, my employer (one of the largest mining companies in Ausralia) announced that they were mandating the COVID vaccine as a requirement for site entry. Facing the prospect of possibly losing my job if I didn’t get vaccinated, I went and spoke to two different GPs about what we could do. Both stated that that the vaccine was safe and recommended for pregnant women. Due to the ATAGI guidelines, they were unable to give me an exemption from the vaccination. Still very unsure, but putting my trust in my medical professionals, we believed that I didn’t have any other option except to get the vaccine. Our doctors were pushing it. I was the highest income earner in our house and my job also provided us our house.
I had the dream first trimester. I was working full time and ran my own business on my days off. I had no morning sickness, tiredness or anything. Our son’s (who we named Ollie), genetic testing was perfect. He was measuring great and things were awesome. I
had my first Pfizer vaccine on the 10th of November 2021 and had a mild fever and arm soreness from it and that was it. On the 8th of December we had our Nuchal Translucency scan at 12weeks and 5 days. Ollie was measuring perfectly and even had the hiccups during our scan. Everything looked great. That same afternoon, I had my second dose of Pfizer. I experienced similar side effects to my first dose.
A few weeks later, over Christmas and New Year, I started to worry as I wasn’t experiencing any pregnancy symptoms. On the 4th of January 2022 we presented to the hospital with my concerns, but because I was in good health and didn’t display any outward symptoms of miscarriage, we were made to wait seven hours for someone to perform an ultrasound. This was when we found out our sweet boy no longer had a heart-beat. The doctors were remorseful in that they didn’t attend to us sooner. Based on Ollie’s measurements, the doctors believed he had died almost immediately after our last scan. He had been dead inside me for nearly four weeks and my body had no idea.
On the 10th of January, we presented to the hospital where they put me on medication to start labour so I could deliver my dead son and send him away for an autopsy. We mentioned a number of times to the doctors that I had my vaccinating in the days before they believe he had died, but we were brushed off and they weren’t willing to entertain the idea of that being a possible cause. I brought copies of our scans and all my blood work and offered to have that accompany him to assist with the autopsy. I was told they didn’t need it. A week later, we received a call saying they now needed this information. I reported it to the TGA: AU-TGA-0000695119
At the hospital, they indicated to us that it would be a couple of weeks before we could expect his body to be returned to us and potentially three months before the report would be ready. I called at three and a half weeks and was told it could be up to three weeks for his body because of COVID-related delays. I called at four weeks and was told maybe by five weeks he would be ready. And then they called me and said it probably would be until at least six weeks before we would get his body back, but the lab could provide NO EXPLANATION as to why the delay was so long.
I felt like we were getting the run around. I wanted to wait until we had his autopsy before sharing our story, but I didn’t want any other families to suffer what we have gone through.
I don’t know if we will ever get the real answer as to what it was that caused his death. I felt backed into a corner with the threat of losing my job and our house and trusting my doctors who insisted I would be in more danger if I didn’t get it. We now need to live with the ‘what ifs’ for the rest of our lives.
We shared our story with Gerrard Rennick, and it gained a lot of attention through various social media platforms. Because of how many people were in support of what I had
experienced, I believe this was the reason that within 18 hours of sharing my story, Rockhampton hospital called me to say that my son’s body would be released in an hour from the time that they called me.
We are now waiting for our sons ashes…… To our sweet Ollie boy, we are so heartbroken. 2022 was supposed to be the best year of our life, and instead we face every day knowing we will not have you here with us.