THE Government’s scheme to compensate the vaccine injured is failing. One man who nearly died after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination from one of AstraZeneca’s most toxic batches has been told he is not injured enough to receive the one-off £120,000 permanent injury payment. This is despite causation being accepted and a diagnosis of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a life-threatening adverse reaction characterised by blood clots and low platelets. His health is destroyed, but according to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) it must be worse to qualify.
Before receiving the jab from AZ batch PV46664*, father-of-three Mark Kerry, 51, visited the gym three to four times a week. Self-employed, he ran three mobile home parks with his wife, Melanie, and daughter Nicole. He did much of the heavy lifting including mowing the parks’ grass daily. Now, he employs someone to do it for him. Sometimes he is so fatigued that he sleeps for 24 hours, his left hand does not function properly, and his haematologist and neurologist say neurological scarring has caused permanent brain damage.
They applied for compensation in April 2021, and the VDPS said: ‘The medical assessor had accepted causation. The VDPS will only pay if it is decided that a patient is 60 per cent injured, and they do not consider Mr Kerry reaches that threshold. The final disablement would be 18 per cent to 35 per cent.’ The family reapplied and were turned down again in September this year.
The first rejection was because after a telephone consultation on April 28, a consultant haematologist at Worcester Royal Hospital wrote: ‘Mr Kerry is clinically very well, and his platelets are extremely stable. He has no bleeding or bruising manifestations.’
The VDPS used this letter as evidence that Mr Kerry would fully recover, but they should have known this was a positive spin. The family’s lawyer Peter Todd said: ‘Doctors are careful not to tell people they won’t recover because it becomes self-fulfilling. Negative information has damaging effects on their prospects of recovery.’
Mr Kerry received the vaccine on March 2, 2021. Twelve days later he discovered blood in his urine. Mrs Kerry, 50, called 111 who advised he go straight to his nearest hospital, Worcestershire Royal. They admitted him after he developed a rash at the tops of his legs. He deteriorated quickly, developing a headache which an MRI showed was cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), rare blood clots in the brain.
Then, Mr Kerry suffered a bleed on the brain, which caused a seizure and cardiac arrest. All hell broke loose, the crash team were alerted, and doctors managed to revive him. He had suffered a stroke and was partially paralysed down his left side. His life hung in the balance. An ambulance rushed him to hospital in Birmingham for specialist surgery and care.
Because of Covid restrictions, Mrs Kerry was allowed to see her husband of 31 years in Worcester Royal’s corridor before he left. She said: ‘We managed to see him and kiss him goodbye. Mark told me he loved me and the children. He wasn’t expecting to survive. Doctors told me that if he survived, he would be brain-damaged.
‘A blood test showed he had very low platelets [a feature of VITT]. They measured just 31 when they should have been between 150 to 450.
‘We would never have linked his injury to the vaccination, but doctors made the link pretty quickly. Our haematologist knew about the VITT problem but said some of his colleagues had told him not to mention it to us because it could be viewed as scaremongering.’
Mrs Kerry managed to keep her composure, but said: ‘I was devastated, numb and in shock. We drove to Birmingham. That was March 17. I didn’t see Mark again in person until April.’
Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital conducted a thrombectomy (a procedure which removes blood clots through a vein). They sucked out the clot but discovered more clots forming behind it. They removed as many as possible.
Mr Kerry was kept sedated and ventilated in their ICU unit after the operation. They told Mrs Kerry they did not know if he would survive but said if he did, he would have brain damage and was unlikely to walk again.
Banished from the hospital, Mrs Kerry, and their three children Nicole, 25, Robert, 27, and Mark, 29, set up camp in their car in the hospital car park. ‘We slept most of that week in the car,’ Mrs Kerry said. ‘I drove home after a week because I was so tired.’
The couple spoke via Zoom and Mr Kerry was confused, unaware he had suffered a life-threatening adverse reaction to his AstraZeneca jab. He thought he had been in a car accident.
He recovered enough to leave hospital but now suffers extreme fatigue, daily headaches, brain fog, his hearing and memory are affected – the family need to repeat things several times – he suffers migraines, which he had never had before, has no strength in his left hand, and some weakness on his left side.
The doctors tell Mrs Kerry he is lucky, saying he was patient number one treated for VITT, while patients two and three did not survive.
She said: ‘Mark will be taking anti-seizure pills for the rest of his life, and he needs blood thinners. He was on no medication at all before this. He isn’t much of a grumbler so will always look for the positives but there has been no improvement in his function since he finished having physio on his hand when he first left hospital. We put his disability at 60 per cent at least. He’s not the same person.’
Peter Todd said: ‘On the industrial injury scale, 60 per cent is a level of disablement equivalent to losing a leg below the knee, with no psychological injury.
‘With a prosthetic leg you would be able to walk, run, ski and drive a car. There would be no cognitive effects and no metabolic effects, you wouldn’t need to take any medication.
‘I managed to get an award for a child who is deaf in one ear and suffering mild psychological impact. Mark is significantly worse than that.
‘Most vaccine injuries should be measured at at least 60 per cent. They are by their nature quite serious when they have neurological complications. When causation is accepted, as in Mark’s case, a case should automatically qualify for 60 per cent.
‘The problem with the VDPS is that they conduct no examination or consultation. If there was an opportunity to have a discussion about how you are, or if the doctor was independent of the NHS, the outcome would be very different.
‘I get the impression that the GP assessors who are employed by the VDPS are coached in how to deflect applications. They’re always looking for information to undermine them.
‘A claimant might have four or five letters from a doctor, which says they are struggling, and one letter that says they’re much better. The VDPS will pick out the one letter that says the patient is much better.
‘It doesn’t help that the burden of proof is on the applicant. In the American system the burden of proof is on the government and any close calls are always given to the patient. That’s a much more humane process.
‘The way the scheme is presented suggests that people should be able to do this without legal representation. There’s a small box that says: “Tell us what happened”. There’s only room for three to four sentences but you need to write pages and pages to properly explain.
‘Legal aid is not available to British applicants, which makes fighting cases costly, so they try to do it without legal representation.
‘The system is set up for people to fail rather than treat them fairly. It’s cruel.’
The NHS have confirmed under an FoI that so far 7,365 people have made a claim under the vaccine compensation scheme, believing that the vaccine has caused them to have a 60 per cent disability. Of these claims, only 148 have yet been settled at a cost of £17.7million, based upon each claimant receiving £120,000. If the remaining claims are settled the cost to the taxpayer would be £884million.
* PV46664 is the second-most toxic batch. By April 30 this year it had scored 17 fatality reports and 6,648 adverse reaction reports, according to Freedom of Information request number FOI 23/305.