My name is Matilda and I am a 27 year old who lived a healthy and active life before the COVID vaccination.
I was open to being vaccinated as we had been assured by medical professionals it was safe and the responsible thing to do. I took the initiative, registered my interest in getting vaccinated and waited five months for my age group to become eligible. We were more worried about my fiancé and his anaphylaxis rather than myself. We had been told what we could expect was to have a fever and feel ‘yucky’ for two days, worst case scenario. On 6th September 2021 we both got our first Pfizer vaccine.
Less than 36 hours after my first vaccination I experienced crippling chest pain, pressure, shortness of breath and dizziness. I saw a GP close to my work the next day and they ran bloods and an ECG. Everything looked normal. Despite the normality of the results, the doctor advised that if my chest pain got worse, not to hesitate to admit myself to hospital.
I had trouble doing everyday things like walking, showering, wearing a bra, driving, sitting upright for too long, hanging clothes on the line etc.
I had what I’m calling three ‘episodes’ during the first three weeks. The best way I can describe these episodes is that they felt like heart attacks. My fiancé drove me to the emergency room on two of the three occasions (10th and 18th September). They did full bloods, urine testing, x-Ray, ECG, echocardiogram. I was told nothing looked abnormal, but was diagnosed with suspected costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage on the rib cage).
On the second occasion one of the hospital doctors even tried to diagnose me with reflux!! He told me that because I wasn’t a male and had only had one vaccination, there was no possible chance I could have pericarditis. After I told him I didn’t agree with his diagnosis of reflux and getting upset for not feeling heard, he proceeded to ask me if I was being harmed at home or if I was mentally unstable or had ever thought of hurting myself. I made a formal complaint about this doctor to the hospital as he was intimidating and demeaning and did not listen to the symptoms I was telling him about.
You can image how small and insignificant this made me feel, pleading for help with crippling chest pain and being dismissed completely. On top of everything I was meant to get married on October 1st, and although my sickness wasn’t the only factor for postponing, it did contribute to the length of delay and postponement of our wedding (by almost 7 months).
I followed up with regular the bulk billing GP and requested a referral to a cardiologist to follow up on what I described as heart pain. He refused to refer me as the test results didn’t show anything abnormal. I would like to add here the Australian Government recommends doctors refer patients to see a cardiologist if they experience chest pain after being administered the vaccine, even if test results do not indicate any issues.
I had trouble standing for too long, pushing Panadol and Nurofen tablets out of their packets, washing myself in the shower, driving, even working from home on a laptop for more than a few hours at a time.
A few days passed, and then all my lymph nodes swelled, to the point where it hurt to move my arms and walk, I had a lymphatic massage and went straight to the chemist to get Vitamin C, zinc and a number of other items to ‘boost’ my immune system.
I had to wait three weeks to get into a private GP to then be referred to a cardiologist to have more testing. Upon referral to the cardiologist, they undertook more full bloods, a stress test, heart monitor, several ECG’s, detailed echocardiogram and cardiac MRI.
Months later, whilst having weeks off work for ongoing chest tenderness (costochondritis), it was confirmed that I also had a high average heat rate, high blood pressure, tachycardia and active pericarditis and scaring on the sac around my heart ‘most likely’ caused by the vaccine. I was given a medical exemption until December 31st 2021, but I was told the cardiologist was not allowed to extend it any further.
Six months on, and I’m still suffering from a sore chest, high blood pressure, tachycardia and increasing my heart rate feels disgusting and uncomfortable (in a way I have never experienced before). My diagnosis confirms I have life-long scarring of the tissue around my heart. This vaccine is something that has permanently damaged me. I have been advised by six out of the seven doctors and specialists I’ve seen, that under no circumstances am I to have another MRNA vaccine. They have also advised not to have AstraZeneca as my risk of injury from the vaccine now outweighs my risks from catching COVID-19.
They are now advising I be re-vaccinated with two doses of Novavax. When I asked several questions about potential severe reactions to Novavax, the doctor told me it isn’t anywhere near as tested as Pfizer and AstraZeneca and that it may be wise for me to do my own research to decide if I’m comfortable to have it!
The permanent damage to my heart was further confirmed when I attempted to donate blood through the Australian Red Cross last week and I wasn’t allowed as they consider pericarditis a permanent and severe heart condition, and the donation would be too risky and put too much pressure on my heart.
I am only just beginning to feel myself again, although still experiencing chest tenderness and pain almost six months after the vaccination. I still can’t get my heart rate up and have gained weight as a result. I have to sleep hugging a pillow to support my chest and am doing heart and chest opening yoga poses daily to relieve tension, pressure and discomfort.
I’m concerned about what this means for my long-term health.