99 Faith

Faith (62) – submission on behalf by her good friend Cordelia

1st dose: Pfizer BioNTech 10th August 2021
2nd dose: Pfizer BioNTech 24th September 2021
3rd dose: Pfizer BioNTech end March 2022

I am writing this on behalf of my dear friend Faith who lives in Christchurch.

Faith is a secondary teacher in her early 60s. She lives alone and has a mortgage. In 2021 she had two teaching jobs (one secondary, one tertiary) and was doing a PhD. As a teacher she had to have the Covid19 vaccinations in order to keep her job.

She had the first vaccination on August 10, 2021 and the second on September 24, 2021 – both Pfizer. A week after the second one she called an ambulance because she felt dizzy, had a tight chest, and couldn’t breathe properly. She thought she was having a heart attack. She was diagnosed with vestibular migraine and went home. She tried to carry on as normal – working, driving etc, but kept having similar episodes every few days and had trouble thinking clearly. The doctor kept saying it was a vestibular migraine. Faith believed her condition was a result of the vaccination.

Faith felt under pressure to have a third vaccination (the “Booster”) to keep her job. At that time, the government was pushing the importance of vaccination “to keep others safe”. Some of Faith’s family insisted she have it in order to see them and to meet her new grandchild. At the end of March 2022 she relented and had the “Booster” (also Pfizer). From then her health deteriorated rapidly. She soon became housebound, and then by June 2022 was bedbound. She has now been diagnosed with severe ME/CFS and has been confined to her bed for over a year.

Faith spends every day in bed trying to navigate a bewildering and constantly changing cluster of symptoms. The main symptom of ME/CFS is Post Exertional Malaise, more commonly known as a “crash”. A crash can result from any over exertion (mental, emotional, or physical). Faith crashes from medical appointments, washing her hair & showering, spending too long talking to someone or reading or writing online, from disrupted sleep and reactions to food & chemicals. Lately her baseline for crashing has lowered & just changing her clothes or her brief sponge-wash in the morning can cause a crash. A crash can last up to a week if it’s bad, and during that time she experiences full body pain (sometimes she can’t move or eat), a feeling of being poisoned and unable to breathe.

The next main symptom is orthostatic intolerance where she experiences a drop in blood pressure on standing and doesn’t get enough blood flowing to organs. This affects her digestive system too, so that she has a lot of nausea & stomach pain, especially after eating, despite eating small, mostly liquid meals on the advice of a dietician. This keeps her awake at night a lot – despite a high dose sleeping pill. Faith is now seriously underweight (she’s a tall woman, now very thin, weighing just 44kg). Right now, it’s winter and Faith struggles to keep warm despite a heat pump, two duvets, two layers of wool and two hot water bottles. When I last visited her in late summer, she was feeling cold despite being in bed under a duvet with continuous hot water bottles.

The third main symptom is unrelenting fatigue which isn’t helped by sleep. She experiences this most of the time. At worst it feels like her organs are shutting down or the blood is draining out of her and at best, she just feels weak.
She also has something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (which is a common comorbidity of ME/CFS). She takes medication for this, but is still experiencing often extreme reactions to chemicals, perfumes & foods. These also can keep her awake at night with sweating, breathlessness & nausea.
Lately she has also developed issues with chest pain, irregular heartbeats & her heart rate going high or low. Her rate dropped into the 30’s (bpm) a few weeks ago and she felt like she was losing consciousness. It is continuing to drop quite low & makes her feel weak & ill.
Recently she has also developed neuropathy in her feet and hands.
She has tried several supplements & a drugs called LDN which helps some people, but frustratingly, has experienced adverse side effects to everything so far. Developing extreme sensitivity to medications is also part of the illness.
Her life has been completely transformed. She has of course had to leave her jobs and stop her study. She almost never leaves the house. She lives in fear of the next crash.
She is unable to read or write, listen to music, watch TV or communicate for longer than 10 minutes or so. Washing her hair is out of the question. Some days cleaning her teeth is too much.

Occasionally she goes to see the doctor if she needs tests, for example, but feels it’s pretty pointless as the doctor is unable to help her much. Most doctors know very little about ME/CFS and are unsympathetic to vaccine-induced illness. It takes Faith days to recover from the outing, so doctor contact is mostly by phone. She feels medically unsupported. She has friends who visit and help. She also has a carer who comes twice a week to prepare meals which Faith heats in the microwave. The carer is funded from money raised via a Givealittle page. Some friends and family have fallen away, and Faith feels isolated and lonely.

Apparently only 5% of people with ME/CFS fully recover and the rest have a cycle of remission & relapsing, or just stay as they are.
Professor Warren Tate at the University of Otago is collecting data on people who have developed ME/CFS after the Covid19 vaccinations and those whose ME/CFS worsened as a result of the vaccine. He says that approximately 25% of sufferers experience a worsening of symptoms after the vaccination (there are approximately 25,000 New Zealanders with ME/CFS, so this means that 6,250 of them would be worse off post-vaccine). In November 2021 Professor Tate wrote to then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and then Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, requesting a vaccine exemption for ME/CFS sufferers, but was declined.

If Faith had not been mandated to have the vaccines, she would not have had the second or third vaccination. She would be able to live normally – go to work, shop at the supermarket, see friends, walk to the beach, listen to music, visit her elderly mum – all the things she loved to do before. It is cruelly ironic that she was forced to have the vaccination in order to keep her job and to spend time with her grandchild and can now do neither.

There needs to be a formal apology from the government for the damage caused by the Covid19 vaccine mandates and an independent investigation into the safety of the vaccines. It is irresponsible and unethical of the government to exclude vaccine injury in its review of its Covid19 response. This must be remedied immediately to give justice to Faith and the many others around the country who are suffering in darkened rooms day after day with vaccine-induced ME/CFS.

Yours sincerely,