Life for Sharon prior to getting the Vaccine was pretty normal. She was healthy, working full-time, able to drive, and full of life.
Sharon had no hesitation about taking the vaccine. She believed that the vaccine was going to be safe and effective as advertised. She and her family simply felt, that by getting the vaccine, they were doing their part to help keep themselves and everyone else safe.
On the afternoon of May 2, 2021, Sharon received the first dose of Pfizer. At the clinic they had her wait for 30 minutes post vaccination to ensure that there were no immediate side effects. At that time Sharon did not feel anything out of the ordinary. Her next dose was scheduled for August 21, 2021.
That same evening (May 2, 2021), Sharon began experiencing a severe headache. She described it as the worst headache of her life. The pressure in her head was immense and she felt like her head would explode. Sharon also experienced burning in her extremities (hands / feet), and was feeling nauseous. At this point she just passed it off as a side effect that would just run its course. The next morning her right foot and ankle was severely swollen, and she could not walk on it. She called her doctor, informing him that these health issues came on after the vaccination. Her family physician dismissed that it could be the vaccine and prescribed gabapentin for the burning in her feet and hands. The following Sunday (mother’s day), Sharon had memory loss and was confused. When she tried to speak to her family, they were unable to make sense of what she was saying. Concerned her husband and daughter took her to the hospital, and they admitted her for 5 days. Because of the Covid protocols her husband Marc was unable to enter the hospital, and he had to speak with the physicians via phone, while he sat in his car, in the parking lot. Sharon was alone in the hospital with no family by her bedside for support. Sharon informed the hospital that what she was experiencing happened after receiving her covid vaccine. Sharon was initially diagnosed with neuropathy and mild encephalitis (the first is basically nerve damage, and the second is a swelling of the brain caused by an infection or immune response).
At the hospital they suspected Sharon may have suffered a stroke, as all her symptoms were pointing in that direction. Scans, EKGs, and a traumatic Lumbar Puncture were just some of the tests performed on Sharon. They could not confirm that she had suffered a stroke (there was blood in the sample from the lumbar puncture but this could have been from the repeated attempts to get a sample).
A week after returning home, Sharon’s health declined. She continued to have trouble speaking, was having difficulties keeping her balance, and was easily fatigued. She went back to the hospital for another 6 days. Another emergency hospital visit would happen over night, on New Years Eve. On each of these emergency visits her family was not allowed to be by her side because of the Covid policies. Sharon has had several diagnoses: a-Functional Neurologic Disorder (FND which was wrong), b-Aphasia (trouble with speaking, understanding speech, or reading or writing as a result of damage to the part of the brain that is responsible for language processing or understanding), c-Dysarthria (difficult or unclear articulation of speech that is otherwise linguistically normal). Sharon requires a cane to walk, and she can no longer drive. She gets fatigued very easily. She has memory loss, confusion, brain fog, and trouble concentrating. Sharon also suffered from full body muscle spasms and seizures post vaccination. Fortunately she has been seizure free for almost a year (as of this post). In my visit with Sharon, I observed that she was having difficulty speaking as the visit progressed. The lights in her family room hurt her eyes, as did the flash from the portrait session. Sitting upright for a prolonged period of time was painful. Despite everything she has gone through, Sharon is a determined individual, focused on regaining her health, and sharing her story. Sharon has been unable to work since her injury and this has created some financial difficulties in the household. She feels her injuries have burdened those closest to her. Sharon is actively doing physio and speech therapy while she still has benefits from her employer. She feels grateful to have the benefits as the cost of the therapy sessions, coupled with the fact that she cannot work would be financially overwhelming.
She is currently involved in some post vaccination studies at Sunnybrook Hospital, and is scheduled for many visits in the coming months.
Sharon is also part of a long covid study being performed by a team of doctors. Although she never had Covid, some doctors are observing that vaccine injured people are having symptoms similar to people experiencing a condition called long covid. Sharon is a member of several groups on social media, sharing her story, and sharing her journey as she works to regain her health.
Her story is met with a full spectrum of reactions from family, friends and colleagues. Most people are supportive, many know of someone else who has had a severe health event post vaccination and others are politely dismissive. Sharon is on long term disability, but she is looking forward to the day that she can work again.