My name is Sara I am 41 years old, a mother to my daughter 14, and my son 9, I worked as a qualified hairdresser, with 20 years of experience,
I was first vaccinated on the 1st of September 2021. I was mandated to get the vaccine or I would lose my job, I didn’t notice any reaction so when it came time to get my second vaccine I didn’t hesitate as at this time all you seen or heard was that it is safe and effective and we need to do this for team of 5 million our fellow kiwis. After receiving the second vaccine on the 8th of October 2021 I felt a little dizzy but didn’t think much more about it and went on with my day, over time I started to feel unwell like I was getting the flu, within a few week I had a very unusual swelling in my face but still at this time did not think it was connected to the vaccine, I thought it was just an allergy to something, I took some antihistamine and continued on. I really couldn’t shake the feeling of getting the flu. I felt fatigued and found it harder and harder to get myself out the door and off to work.
In November 2021 I was having to call in sick to work a lot and was just really struggling to be a Mum and get my children off to school, then at the end of November I became very unwell with extreme abdominal pain. I was vomiting and struggling to get out of bed I went off to the doctor and he ran some test. Nothing was showing and I was still in extreme pain like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. My doctor recommended I take myself off to the A and E where I was given strong pain relief and a plan to run more tests. I was in a bad way, I had no colour in my face, I was in constant pain and could barely stand up. Doctors were coming in and out with no n and out of doctors and the a&e with no idea what was going on.
By the end of December 2021, I was no better with tests showing that my inflammation levels were high but with no idea what was happening and still having to go to the A and E with extreme pain and fatigue. I felt like I was dying. I was scared because I just could not function and I had children to care for, I was very lucky to have my supportive partner that would look after my children and help me as I needed support to shower and do the simplest of tasks.
By January 2022 I had seen many doctors and had been to the A and E so many times, I was made to feel by both doctors and nurses at my local medical centre and the A and E that all of this was in my head, I even started to question this myself, but my partner Sam who had witnessed my physical symptoms and watched me turn into the person I did not recognize, knew it was physical. He witnessed my body shock in pain while I was sleeping, my lips turning blue, my passing out, the physical pain on my face as I tried my hardest to be a mother and just do the simplest of jobs, it made him so angry to see the way I was treated by professionals that were meant to be understanding and help someone in pain, I would fight with him about not wanting to go to the hospital when he knew I needed to go all because of the hideous way I was treated, even the smell of the hospital now makes me feel sick and scared.
By the end of January, I had been able to get in with my regular doctor who I had not yet seen, she was the first doctor that I felt really listened to what I was going through and made me feel like she wanted to help. She now prescribed me strong pain relief so I can avoid at all costs going into the A and E as she understands the bad experiences I have had. We had started to think back as to what was different as the question was asked if I had been gardening or had any products around my house that could poison me, the only thing that was different was the fact I had the vaccine. It was starting to become very obvious that I was reacting badly to the Pfizer vaccine in my opinion.
My doctor decided to run some more tests to see if there was anything autoimmune happening, This doctor was very helpful and seemed to be understanding that I was vaccine injured, all of the other doctors I had talked to would not acknowledge that it was from possible the vaccine, every time I went to the A and E they would ask me the same question “so where did it start and what was different”? When I went on to tell them that it was the vaccine they would ignore me or say there’s no way it could be from the vaccine, and then went on the treat me differently and wanted me out of there as quickly as possible.
When my test results came back for autoimmune levels were very high and also positive so we started to get a picture as to what was possibly going on, I was referred to a rheumatologist, but there was to be a wait of over a year through the public system so my mother said she would pay for me to go private so I could be seen sooner as my family was sick of seeing me suffering, by this stage it was affecting everyone around me my family was very concerned.
By April 2022 I asked my doctor to please put a claim through to ACC as I had been in contact with others that had been injured, also Lynda Wharton who was supporting me and put me onto one of the doctors with NZDSOS, I had an appointment scheduled with a rheumatologist at the start of May, I felt like I was finally getting somewhere with a diagnosis I was hoping I would get some answers.
When I met with the rheumatologist, he was very understanding of what I was going through and went on to explain that he feels my nerve pain receptors were not turning off and that my control systems were not working the way they should he said I was having similar symptoms as people suffering from long covid (at this stage I had still not had the covid 19 virus)and that he feels it could be related to the vaccine the timing was very suspicious. He wanted to refer me to an immunologist to see if they could assist further to help to get a diagnosis, he had also requested more testing to be done.
A few weeks later I had not heard from the immunologist and tried to chase it up with no luck, I was starting to think they would not see me, and to this day I have still not heard from them, I now understand why.
By the end of May 2022 I was still living my life mostly bedridden still in extreme pain I was having shocks of pain jolting all through my body, I was having my lips turning blue, my fingers and toes extremely cold, and dead legs that I could not walk on for hours, my heart was racing confirmed by holter monitor, really painful headaches, pain through my neck, pain in my abdomen area and still felt like I was going to die, I would cry in bed not able to move or do anything. I now take at least 13 prescribed pills a day with pain relief needed on top of this.
My ACC case was starting to make some progress with a letter from head immunologist David Baker writing a letter after reading through all of my information from all of my doctor and specialist appointments he had concluded after a lot of stating that there was not yet enough scientific research at this time to prove that I am injured from the vaccine but does feel in the future there will be. That there was a 50% plus chance that I was injured from the vaccine, but he was not in a position to make that call and felt it would need to be a decision made by ACC.
ACC went on to DECLINE my injury claim for medical treatment injury. I feel that ACC as a whole has been extremely difficult to deal with, nobody wants to take responsibility or accountability for the fact the vaccine has caused me immense suffering. Due to the time frame the science has not yet evolved, we are all just out here living in hope that one day soon they will have answers for us and our suffering can be acknowledged at least.
ACC has said if I have any new appointments with a specialist send through the information and that the case will be able to be reopened. In February 2023 I have seen a cardiologist as my racing heart was becoming concerning and I was rushed to the hospital with chest pain and was struggling with this, I have now been diagnosed with inappropriate tachycardia and I take daily medication for this, I am yet to hear from ACC to see if this will help with my case.
I am also on a waiting list to see a neurologist as my nervous system seems to be in a real mess, through the day I have extreme jolts of pain that can go from my fingers down to my toes and my whole body jolts it is a horrible feeling, my partner tells me it happens all night when I am asleep.
We are now in May 2023 I am still spending most of my days in bed or on the couch I regularly pass out and my children have had to see me in a really bad way, this situation is not fair to them. Before I became ill I was a busy hairdresser out with my children doing things every weekend they are missing out on their Mum and it makes me so sad.
I am living in the hope that one day I will get back to my old self and that there will be help for people that are suffering like me.