True Story by Yvonne

Yvonne, 50, New Plymouth

No Vax, No Social Life.

Denied a social life because I declined the jab. I am someone who suffers with an unrecognised chronic illness. I have a restricted diet to manage my illness, usually I am able to enjoy a coffee out which is the highlight of my day. As someone who has spent more than $100,000 on my health, and still suffering, I chose not to risk further harm from the new covid vaccine. Due to vaccine passes I was unable to enjoy a basic activity such as having a coffee at a local cafe. How can the government mandate an experimental drug for the immune system when they don’t know how the immune system actually works? If they did, I would be getting treated and be on my way to recovery. Also, my eldest son, 24 years, after his jabs has experienced shortness of breath, chest pains, and tingly sensations up and down his body.

My name is Yvonne, and this is my true story.

My name is Yvonne Farnsworth, I am currently 50 years old. I have two son’s 24 and 23 years old and a loving husband.

In January 2016 I moved from my hometown of New Plymouth to live in Auckland with my youngest son (16 yrs at the time) for 12 months for him to attend his last year at high school. He was accepted into this school to play in the 1st II Football team. My husband stayed in New Plymouth and he travelled up most weekends to watch him play. It was a fairly stressful period, but exciting at the same time.

In March 2016, I inadvertently ate some old chicken out of our fridge whereby 5 days later I developed a severe case of food poisoning. The symptoms progressively got worse with diarrhoea happening up to 10 times a day with this continuing for 8 months! I was so sick. During this time I went to a health clinic in Auckland where I was told I would get better, just to give it time. At one point the doctor laughing told me that I lot of these symptoms were ‘in my head’.

My son was with me at the time. I continued seeing this doctor three times (my own GP was back in New Plymouth) but at no stage were any tests done or any treatment offered, other than pills to stop the diarrhoea which did not work. In March I also coincidentally went into ‘peri-menopause’ but blood tests showed negative to this happening.

By August 2016 I was starting to get a dry, rasping feeling in my throat that got worse with exercise. It was hard to distinguish if it was just in my throat or in my lungs too. But it was very uncomfortable. In September I insisted on a stool sample being done as the diarrhoea was still very bad. This stool sample came back ‘clear’ of any unusual bacteria and I was told that whatever was in my system had now gone. To this day, I do not know what type of bacteria had caused the food poisoning. In October this year, I also contracted a bad case of Strep in my throat, my skin dried out and my hair started to fall out.

January 2017 I returned to New Plymouth where I went to my own GP. I was still very unwell and the sore throat issue was relentless, never going away, there all the time, not just with exercise. She suggested that all of my issues were hormone related and the only thing she could give me was HRT. Knowing that this would NOT fix my symptoms I decided to change to a functional doctor who had both integrative medical training and was a fully qualified GP. When I gave my medical history to my new doctor she advised that there was certainly more going on in my body making me unwell than just menopause.

From here she got me to clean up my diet, I went Gluten and Dairy free but I just kept getting more and more unwell. By the end of 2017 my
usual healthy weight of 58kg had dropped to 46kg! I was a walking skeleton, unwell and in a lot of pain. My throat was still an issue, and she could not work out what was going on. Over the next 5 years, we have been on a roller coaster journey to figure out what was causing me to be so unwell. In April 2018, my husband and I had to sell our roofing business of over 20 years as I was unable to continue working. We were a local New Plymouth company with an average of 30 staff at a time, our biggest accomplishment was installing the roof on the Westfield Albany Shopping Centre, in North Auckland.

The throat issue was made worse by chronic fatigue and after a few years started affected my neurological ability to think clearly or do simple tasks like housework and cooking. My husband has had to take over these roles. I have had so many tests done and so many alternative treatments, i.e. mould & fungus tests, heavy metal tests (where chelation treatment to rid my body of toxins was part of my daily life for over a year). As of Feb 2022, I have spent nearly $100,000 on trying to heal my body. We are living off the proceeds of our business sale but this runs out next year.

However, out of every symptom that I have suffered, the worst has been the loss of being able to eat anything I want to freely without having severe health consequences. I have never had allergies to food before but my diet has become more and more restrictive having to cut out all of these food
groups just to be able to function: Gluten, dairy, eggs, any processed food, any processed meat, fish, nuts & seed, legumes, corn, soy, garlic & onions, sugar, processed oils, alcohol, juice & tea, and any nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes etc).

This basically only leaves me very few foods that I CAN eat, being leafy greens, certain root veges and fresh meat (lamb, beef, duck and chicken). I can still drink coffee from fresh beans but have to limit this to once a day. This is the only thing left that gives me joy is my coffee at morning tea time. Due to my restrictions, my husband & I had already cut out restaurant meals or eating out at all that doesn’t involve us cooking my own food and taking it with me.

To say that my health has turned mylife completely upside down is an understatement. If I do eat something that I shouldn’t then my immune system seems to turn on itself and causes my throat to flare, sinusitis, tinnitus, sore muscles and joints, neurological symptoms, peripheral neuropathy, chronic fatigue. This doesn’t happen immediately but over a few days and then takes a few more days to start to be able to function again. But never to the point where I could go back to work again.

So after nearly 6 years, my functional doctor is now unable to help me any further. I have two specialists in Auckland who help me with some symptoms and I’ve also reached out to a specialist in Australia. Lots of testing is sent to either Australia or America and I’m currently waiting on doing some blood work to be sent to Germany. I have been diagnosed with one condition that is inhibiting my ability to heal and that is ‘Classic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome’. I have been genetically confirmed with this (basically a collagen deficiency which affects every system in my body) but I did not know I had this all of my life, as I have had NO symptoms until the food poisoning. However, I have not had any recognition, help or financial assistance offered to me here in the New Zealand Medical System over the past 6 years. I have had to go it alone, quite literally, as lots of friends and family believe that I should be healed by now, so they do not understand how debilitating this has been and have just stopped supporting me. (Some do though, shout out to them!)

All of the doctors I have seen have said that this is an immune system disorder that they can’t figure out what is happening. So this is where I come to my point….

Three of my specialists have advised against me getting the Covid19 mRNA vaccine, including my Australian doctor. In fact several of them have told me it’s like I have ‘Long Covid’ without actually ever having Covid. When I double checked with my functional GP, she told me that the vaccine is safe and effective. I countered with the fact that my immune system is being affected by me just eating normal foods and even just plain tap water, so she said, ‘well maybe you shouldn’t have the vaccine BUT don’t ever expect to have a social life again. What? I don’t have a social life anyway so why would that be my top priority? My priority is to try and stay as healthy as possible so I can start functioning as a normal human being again. My only joy, of being able to drink coffee, is now made harder by the fact that, because I am too unwell to have this experimental medical injection, I am being vilified in the public eyes by not even being allowed to go to a café with my husband or friends for a coffee.

There is also a side story to all of this. My genetic condition of ‘Classical Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome’can be passed on to my children. My youngest son is fit and healthy and now playing soccer in the USA. He has had to get two Moderna shots to stay at his university and to continue to play. However, my eldest son has had a few health issues. At six weeks old he had to have a hernia operation on one side of his abodmen and then at 10 weeks old he had to have another the other side done. At 12 months old we found he had a peanut allergy resulting in hives.

All of his childhood he would just pick up every flu and virus going around. When he was four, he ended up in hospital after an allergy to sulphur based antibiotics. When he was 9 yrs old he got such severe pain in his right hip that he had to be on crutches for 6 months. The doctors thought maybe
he had Perthes disease but it went away before this could be fully diagnosed. Since then he has been relatively healthy. But knowing how our health system has been unable to help my immune system I’ve always been a little wary about anything that may compromise his health too.

He is 24 now and making his own decisions, which by this age is what you would expect! He decided to get his first Pfizer vaccine on 14 November 2021, after biding his time as long as he could. He had just moved to Auckland living on his own hoping to find work or set up his own business (he graduated university after doing a 4 year degree in Business Entrepreneurship). He felt he had to get the injection to be able to have any sort of life. Within two days, he started getting shortness of breath and chest pains. We were back in New Plymouth so told him to go straight back to the clinic to get checked out. So he went there and they did an Electrocardiogram and blood tests but all of these came back normal. He reported his symptoms to CARM at this stage himself, no doctor offered to do this on his behalf.

After a few weeks, he wasn’t getting any better so, once Auckland was out of lockdown (he spent his whole time in lockdown by himself), we got him to return home to New Plymouth and see our family GP back here for a second opinion. (Different doctor to my functional one). After having to wait in
the car (as we are unvaccinated) we were let in the back door of the clinic. The first thing our doctor said was ‘well firstly, myocarditis is very rare’. I knew then that we would not be taken seriously.

As a side note, just the week before this visit, I was with our son in the kitchen and he said he started to feel weird. He started getting pins and needles in his left foot and left hand and it was travelling up his body. He said it was like a migraine (which has had ONCE before) but without the headache.
Then he said his lips were going numb and he was losing vision in one eye. We immediately sent him to bed where he stayed for 4 hours.

So he mentioned all this to the GP, but she just said it was a ‘focal migraine, like a mini-stroke’ but not to be concerned as these are normal and her kids get them all the time. The thing is this is just adding to the symptoms that started affecting our son AFTER the vaccine which wasn’t happening beforehand. Our GP, then organised him to have another Electrocardiogram and chest x-ray right then and there which we did. I insisted on a D-Dimer test too which was reluctantly done. We got the results within a few hours all shown to be normal, but we did re-book with another GP for two
weeks time (as our GP was going away).

In the meantime our son has lost a bit of his spark spending hours in his room. When he goes out for a short walk or anything he gets quite dizzy, nauseous and short of breath. It’s now been three months and the symptoms, although not getting worse, are not getting better either. So I went with
him to his follow up appointment with the new GP. To start with we had to wait in the car again. This time the GP phoned and said for the purposes of
saving time would it be ok for us to just do the appointment in the car. After talking with her and explaining it all over again, we insisted that we come in for another examination of which she agreed. Inside her rooms, she did his blood pressure which was actually quite high (he usually has
low blood pressure) so she right down the second reading as it ‘was more accurate’. 120/70.

Due to the migraines she proceeded to examine around his neck and throat but said she didn’t need to check his heart as the last GP had already done this (two weeks ago) but I insisted she do it again. Everything she examined was normal, including his vision. When he had to take the deep breaths to listen to his heart, he started to get light headed. But otherwise, all normal. So, she continued to say that he’s more than likely got a musculoskeletal problem such as Costochondritis…and then she said that THIS could have been caused by the vaccine, but ‘we just don’t know.’

This is when I started to say I know all about what is happening with adverse reactions not showing up on tests and that I would like to take this further and be referred to a Cardiologist and also get an Echocardiogram done of which, we can only do this privately. I said ‘whatever it takes’ and I’m hoping that our AIA Health Insurance will cover this. Our son is having his echocardiogram done tomorrow.

So this is my story so far. But I believe this will be a continuing work in progress. As someone with an unrecognised chronic illness in this country, how can they mandate an experimental drug for the immune system when they don’t know how the immune system actually works? If they did, I would be getting treated and be on my way to recovery. But this doesn’t look likely to happen anytime in the near future. I do not wish others to be adversely affected and have to go through anything that I have had to unnecessarily.