I’m Michael, a 63-year-old partner, father and grandfather. I have cellulitis (managed), arthritis (managed), hypertension (managed), am ‘overweight’ (managed), and have had these issues for quite a while. I receive a disability pension. I have NO history of heart or lung problems. I also have low cholesterol, high red blood cell count and exemplary oxygen uptake.
I am a flexitarian (mostly vegetarian with occasional meat), I gave up cigarette smoking four years ago, I drink alcohol rarely, and have had to stop running due to my arthritic knee issues.
I was hesitant to receive the vaccine and preferred to wait for the Novavax to be available. I wasn’t comfortable with any of the current vaccines being offered and was skeptical about whether they were even beneficial. I sought advice from my GP and he also stated that for my age bracket it was my decision, it was a numbers game at that point. My choices were no vaccine at all, or AstraZeneca.
I felt as though I had no REAL choice, because I was informed that I’d no longer be able to visit my father in a nursing home in Northern New South Wales without being double-vaccinated, so I reluctantly booked in for the AstraZeneca vaccine as the ‘lesser evil’.
I received my first AstraZeneca vaccine on August 9th, 2021, and apart from some left arm soreness and stiffness/cramping I could not report any particular side-effects.
On the afternoon of November 1st, 2021, I received my second AstraZeneca vaccine. On Friday 5th November, I woke and had a light breakfast, took my medications as usual, but within thirty minutes I felt a hard pain in the left side of my chest which radiated down my left arm. I informed my son, who was staying with us, and together we used a massage gun to try to settle it. This didn’t work, the pain wasn’t easing and I knew in my gut that something was seriously wrong. Soon after, my partner came out from the bedroom and I asked her to call triple zero.
The paramedic arrived quickly, and I told him straight away that I had just received my vaccine only 96 hours prior. He didn’t engage, just worked on my pain. I walked to the waiting ambulance where I was stabilized and driven to the Russell Island jetty where the ambulance boat was waiting. I was transferred to the boat, with the paramedic.
After a smooth fast trip to Redland Bay jetty, I was wheeled to a waiting ambulance and we continued on to Redland Bay Hospital where an extra paramedic came aboard the vehicle. Off we went again, this time towards the Princess Alexandra Hospital. I had copious pain meds and during the banter told the four attendees that I had received my second AstraZeneca three days prior. They seemed to go very quiet, giving each other glances but not really acknowledging what I had said. Onwards we went, at times the siren was employed. During the trip my shirt was removed, shorts cut off and I was dressed in a gown (a story for another time).
Upon arriving at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, I was wheeled through the side door, part-way up a corridor, and into an operating theatre where a team was waiting. I was x-rayed, MRIs were taken, a line was put into my right arm, and I proceeded to have two stents put into my anterior heart artery (it was identified as 80% blocked). On top of that, other lesser (under 70%) blockages were identified, medication sorted out and a second procedure booked for December 15th.
I believe that I may have mentioned my vaccine during the operation, but I certainly DID to my attending surgeon later, and to attending nurses. The surgeon didn’t engage with me about it, but described plaque and cholesterol, and what had occurred. The nurses appeared alarmed but didn’t engage either.
In the hospital I was placed in an adjoining cubicle (later a room in CCU) with a man called Bob. I struck up a conversation with him. Bob was 71 years of age and fit and healthy prior to receiving his Pfizer vaccine. His story was, that one day after being vaccinated he suffered heart failure and was to the Princess Alexandra Hospital awaiting a procedure to install a pacemaker. He too was adamant it was the vaccine that had caused the damage, and was following reporting procedures (as I did later).
NOTE: I can’t fault the medical care that I received and continue to receive. It was exemplary from ‘alpha to omega’.
During the second the procedure I had an intense chest pain, and I found it difficult to stay on the table. This was later explained as a blood clot in one of the arteries being repaired, and was alleviated by removal, stents and subsequent medications. I now have a total of five stents, and am on many medications for the remainder of my life.
To add insult to very serious injury, whilst I was in and out of hospital receiving care for my damaged heart, my father passed away before I’d had the chance to visit him. I was absolutely gutted. Regular phone contact just wasn’t enough. This all felt like it was for nothing, as the only reason I took the vaccine was to see my father. I did not get a chance to do that due to MY illness, New South Wales border rules, and nursing home rules.
Although I did have some health issues, I don’t believe that it was coincidence that my heart attack happened near my vaccination date. I believe that the AstraZeneca had the effect of being a catalyst, exacerbating existing conditions to the point where they manifested most seriously.