Thursday, April 18, 2024
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I was already disabled but the jab destroyed my life


Today we are starting an occasional series of personal accounts written by Covid-19 vaccine-injured people. These are men and women who, from the moment they started to suffer from and reported serious adverse reactions, have felt abandoned by the NHS, experts and professionals. Many will not have considered that people who were previously disabled are amongst this group. Henrietta is one such and this is her story.

I’M 29. I have an underlying brain injury and I’m paralysed from the chest down. I use a powered wheelchair. Because of my condition it seemed sensible to have the vaccine. I had AstraZeneca due to allergies. When I went for the booster I explained why I’d had the AstraZeneca vaccine but was told Pfizer would be ok. 

I wish I’d trusted my instincts on October 9, 2021. 

I now have 34 symptoms affecting all of my body: 24/7 headache, tachycardia, photophobia, unable to eat much, tinnitus, chronic infections, mast cell issues and lung damage. I’m bed-bound, on a ventilator for most of the day and night – makes it tricky to talk and my voice was affected already. I have no quality of life. I have little vision in one eye which makes it hard to watch telly, which keeps me occupied, and access my only support, which is online. My cognitive and mental function has worsened which is difficult, can be risky when I forget things and is embarrassing.

Before I was ill I was active. I exercised three times a week and played powerchair football. I was away weekly and multiple weekends. I was sociable, at college and my disability didn’t affect my life in too negative a way.

This is far harder to deal with than anything related to my disability – bear in mind that for four years I was completely paralysed from the neck down, couldn’t speak and nearly died. Despite this, I had a fantastic quality of life. Quality of life is everything to me. I’ve learnt because of my disability, it is quality of life rather than length of life that matters most. I can’t explain how frustrated I am at what has happened to me. It is made worse by having been told that this vaccine would protect me. There are many people who have underlying conditions who have had the vaccine for the same reason as me. Sadly now their condition is more complicated, progressed or they have a multitude of other problems on top of their underlying condition. Some may not realise their worsening condition has been caused by the vaccine as it’s easy to dismiss as their underlying condition. I’ve lost trust in vaccines and wouldn’t risk taking anything else.

It’s difficult to find the words to express my anger at the medical profession and authorities encouraging those with underlying conditions to have the booster. Everyone is different and it should be on a case-by-case basis with informed consent. It hurts me to know there will be people with underlying conditions, who may well end up like me, whose life will be ruined and made more difficult. All from a vaccine that we were told would protect us. I’m desperate for my quality of life to improve; it’s not much to ask for. 

Editor’s note: Anyone with vaccine injuries can contact the UK CV Family support group here.

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Henrietta Freeman
Henrietta Freeman
Henrietta Freeman is a volunteer administrator with the UK CV Family extended group, with a particular interest in and empathy for those with previous underlying conditions.

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