Pfizer #1: FM4289
Pfizer # 2: FK9707
Ashley’s mum Paula, shares Ashley’s story.
We are a family of 4, our son is 17 and our daughter Ashley is now 15 (14 at the time of her vaccine). Ashley has always been social and loved being active/playing sports – she played Basketball, Volleyball, and Tennis, and had previously played Netball. Her only health issue at the time was that she’d had an ongoing fungal infection in her toenail bed due to a disruption in her nail growth after falling 6 meters out of a tree back in 2017. She also had a history of low Iron.
I had been hesitant from the start of the vaccine rollout. I had done research on side effects and wanted myself and our two children to wait for an alternative non-mRNA vaccine with lesser side effects or none at all. I had also followed the Instagram jab injuries pages from very early on. I didn’t like what I was finding during my research, especially regarding heart and neurological effects, and for me, 2 confirmed deaths from myocarditis set off alarm bells. This led me to conclude that for us, the risks from the Pfizer vaccine outweighed the risk from Covid-19, especially for our children, considering many scientific experts and data stated that covid was less serious in young people under 18. We had lots of discussions with our children explaining why we wanted them to wait. Our 16yr old son was on board with this and Ashley was to begin with – until the vaccine passes started being used. My husband also supported the decision to wait, however he ended up being mandated for his job, and was fully vaccinated by mid-January, thankfully HE was ok.
I was an early childhood reliever part-time, so the mandates affected my job. My employer wasn’t happy with what was happening with the mandates, so they were supportive of my decision to leave and not give in to getting something I wasn’t comfortable with. I decided to use this time to learn some new skills and complete some studies online instead.
When the vaccine passports came into force, our kids were pretty gutted that it affected their summer by not being able to go out to specific places with their friends. Ashley was beginning to feel the pressure from some of her friends to get the vaccine and was unhappy with not being able to go out to certain places with them. She was also unable to play her summer sport Tennis, as her division played at the Edgar centre, where anyone over 12yrs required a vaccine passport to enter. It was all pretty stressful and wasn’t nice to see our kids missing out. I was, and still am, quite angry they included the 12-17yr olds in the vaccine passport system. Did the government not realise the mental health effect that exclusion would have on these young people?
Ashley started saying in January 2022 she wanted to get the vaccine. She was learning that she would be excluded from playing school sports if she was not vaccinated. She knew the risks, and how we felt and said to us “I’ll be fine, all my friends were fine after having it.” We knew she could easily go behind our back and have it done, so we decided as parents we needed to respect and support her decision and agreed to let her have it – hoping and praying she’d be ok. We had her take supplements such as Vitamin C, D, and zinc, in the lead-up to having it, and anti-inflammatories before and after each vaccine over a couple of days to help reduce any inflammation that may occur.
Ashley had her first vaccine on the 28th of January 2022. She was ok after the first one, although thinking back, she did occasionally make the comment that she thought she was perspiring more than normal and had the odd funny feeling in her chest. I just thought it was because we’d spoken about heart issues, and perhaps she was sensitive to feeling things in her body.
I wanted her to wait longer than 3 weeks to get the second vaccine to lessen the risk of side effects, but she couldn’t wait to be socialising with friends again, so had it 3 weeks later on Friday the 18th of February 2022 after school. She was ok that night but said she’d woken up in the early hours of the morning with a headache and feeling quite sore up her left arm. Within 24 hours she was suffering from fatigue, a headache, body soreness, and chest pain, which she described like having the stitch, and was worse when she breathed inwards. She’d arranged to go out with her friends the day after her second vaccine, as she was so excited to be able to go out again with her friends, so she said she would be fine and went. When she got home her headache was pretty bad and she was feeling very lethargic and said her chest was feeling worse. The chest pain got progressively worse over the weekend, where the pain started to radiate up into her left shoulder, neck, and jaw.
On Monday morning, the 21st of February, I took her to our GP who straight away reported it to CARM as an adverse reaction to the vaccine and organised an ECG and blood tests. We were fortunate to have a GP who was aware of vaccine reactions. He informed me that from what he had seen, it could potentially be quite a few weeks before she improves. Ashley’s ECG was normal, but her blood test results showed she had raised CRP levels (a sign of inflammation). As she had a suspected infection in her toe at the time, our GP was unsure if the CRP result was due to this or her vaccine reaction. She was prescribed antibiotics for her toe and had her CRP levels retested on the Thursday, and they were back within normal range.
Due to fatigue and continued chest pain, she didn’t go to school that week, then had an outing on Sunday the 27th of February. When she came home, she lay down on her bed and the pain started getting significantly worse. That evening, I rang our local After Hours doctors and at their advice, took her to the Emergency Department. Ashley had another ECG, more blood tests, and a chest x-ray. The ECG and chest x-ray came back normal, but her blood tests showed a slightly elevated white cell count. She was sent home with instructions to take regular pain relief and advised they expected her symptoms to settle down during the week, but to bring her back if we had any concerns or if her condition worsened. I questioned the doctor about her chest pain, and she mentioned there could be some inflammation in the lining of her chest cavity. The word Pericarditis was not mentioned. During this time Ashley was sleeping in our room on the floor as she was pretty scared about the pain she was feeling and didn’t want to be by herself. She made many comments during this whole experience about being scared she was going to die. I must admit this thought crossed my mind a few times.
After 3 weeks of Ashley experiencing 4/10 to 8/10 chest pain, with the higher end in the evenings, she still wasn’t attending school as there had been little improvement in her condition. We managed to get a medical certificate from our GP stating that in his opinion she was medically unfit to attend school and I made it very clear to the school that Ashley had suffered an adverse reaction to the vaccine. I had some conversations with our GP over these weeks asking if it could be pericarditis, as I had read and heard of quite a few cases. I mentioned I was also aware of another local vaccine injured individual who had normal ECG’s, blood tests and x-rays and had been diagnosed with Pericarditis (I have since been told by our cardiologist that this has been seen a lot in these vaccine reactions, and there are now a number of publications regarding pericardial symptomatology without inflammatory markers). Our GP said it was possible that Ashley had Pericarditis, but the only way we’d know is via an Echocardiogram. We made a plan that if she didn’t improve in another week, he would refer Ashley to a cardiologist. She didn’t improve so our GP sent a referral to see a Cardiologist privately – we were fortunate position having health insurance, and we wanted answers quickly as to the cause of her chest pain.
Ashley had an echocardiogram on Wednesday the 16th of March 2022. I asked the person performing it when we should get the results and was told they’d be sent to our doctor within the week, but we got a call from the cardiologist the next day who was lovely and understanding and informed us that the echocardiogram showed Ashley’s pericardium ‘shining nice and bright’ (meaning it was inflamed). She was officially diagnosed with Pericarditis despite all her other tests being reasonably normal up until this point. I asked if the vaccine had caused it and the cardiologist asked when she’d had it and what had happened, then agreed that it was the cause. I was aware that we could apply for ACC with these adverse reactions, and the Cardiologist’s report supported the vaccine-related Pericarditis diagnosis stating, ‘The symptomatology and the timing of onset of symptoms close to the second Pfizer vaccination are compatible with vaccine-related pericarditis. The persisting symptomatology for a number of weeks is also consistent with this.’ Once the GP received the official diagnosis, he sent a treatment injury claim to ACC. Ashley was prescribed 500mcg Colchicine twice a day for 3 months, and ibuprofen if needed. We also started her on NAC and daily antihistamines as we had seen some information that the inflammatory response seen with these reactions was similar to an allergic immune response.
We were fortunate to get the diagnosis so quickly. This couldn’t have happened without the GP or cardiologist we had. We are thankful to them and all the people that prayed for Ashley. I had sought out that specific cardiologist via another local vaccine injured person who had a positive experience with them. This vaccine injured person also gave me the advice to be ‘the squeaky wheel’ with ACC, so I called them every week. The first week I called, the person on the phone said, “I see there is a note that your GP is not qualified to diagnose Pericarditis”. I determined they didn’t have a copy of the cardiologist’s report, so I emailed it to them, then called again the following week. They informed me they had received the cardiologist report and I asked how long before our claim would be accepted and what else was needed. I was told that these claims are quite complex, so it can take up to 9 months. I responded, “You have a report from a cardiologist stating that my daughter has pericarditis from the vaccine, what else do you need”? The woman on the end of the phone then said she could put Ashley’s case as ‘URGENT’, so the assessor sees it quicker, and she did. Two days later on the 8th of April 2022, I got a call back from a specialist cover assessor informing me that Ashley’s claim had been accepted. It was only 3 weeks after the claim was sent to them, that it was approved. I realise we have been very fortunate with ACC. I am also aware many have, and are still, struggling to have their claims accepted by ACC. I am appalled this has happened and I truly feel for these individuals. I believe the fact that I emailed the documentation myself to ACC instead of waiting for them to gather this information themselves, hastened the process, and recommend this for other claimants, along with requesting copies of all medical test results and medical notes. After getting our claim accepted, I could then claim reimbursement for the Cardiologist expenses we had paid out of our own pocket, however, they only partially reimbursed the consultation fee and ECG, but fully reimbursed the cost of the Echocardiogram. The remainder was reimbursed via our health insurance.
Ashley ended up back in ED again 6 weeks post-vaccine on the 5th of April 2022. I took the cardiologist’s report with us, and we happened to have the same doctor we had the first time. I wanted them to know that she’d had an adverse reaction to the vaccine and been diagnosed with Pericarditis. I heard the nurses at changeover time outside Ashley’s door sounding shocked/surprised about her experiencing chest pain every day for the 6 weeks since having the vaccine. I don’t think they realised the extent of what people were experiencing.
Ashley was taking the colchicine twice daily but didn’t have much improvement. She was also still not wanting to sleep alone during this time. She was absent from school for the whole first term due to daily chest pain and fatigue and not being able to exert herself without a flare-up. I believe the full rest she got over the first 8 weeks contributed greatly to her recovery. We were not happy that this happened to our daughter – it had significantly affected her life. It impacted her learning, and she missed her friends terribly. Ashley was still experiencing chest pain 10 weeks after her second vaccine, which worsened with stress or exertion, especially emotional stress. I’d been in contact with another local mother whose teen son had been injured with Myocarditis and Pericarditis. She said he’d found sustained release (SR) Brufen (800 mg) had helped with the pain. At Ashley’s 6-week follow-up cardiologist appointment in May, the cardiologist was open to prescribing the Brufen for Ashley. The cardiologist also wanted her to have a Cardiac MRI to check there was no sign of Myocarditis or other damage – another patient they’d had, only picked up Myocarditis on MRI imaging. It was 12 weeks post-vaccine when Ashley started showing significant improvement after Colchicine in the mornings, and the SR Brufen at night. The Brufen seemed to help with the pain at night, resulting in her sleeping better.
Ashley was hesitant but agreed to have the MRI, which was booked for the 23rd of June. I was told by the mum of another vaccine injured teen with pericarditis, that an ACC purchase order is needed for the MRI, so I thought I’d ring ACC to check. When I asked the person on the phone about a Purchase Order number, they told me “No, you won’t need it”, but when we turned up on the day for the MRI, the receptionist saw it was under ACC and informed us they couldn’t do it without a PO number. It was frustrating because Ashley had worked herself up for getting it done and got quite upset when it couldn’t happen that day, resulting in emotional stress that would flare up her chest pain. I later found out it’s the ‘recovery assist’ team to speak to regarding PO numbers for vaccine injury claims, but it was another team I’d spoken to, so it seemed a lack of communication was going on. I made sure I let them know about this via email! Ashley had her Cardiac MRI with contrast on the 28th of July. It took about 1.5 hours. The results thankfully showed no sign of myocarditis or other damage. They noted a sign of trivial pericardial effusion, but the cardiologist wasn’t concerned about this.
Ashley tried going back to school in Term 2 but still had many absences. She felt a bit better but fatigued easily. She did a gradual return with half days, or whatever she could manage, as per the cardiologist’s suggestion.
Our whole family had covid in June 2022. We were concerned about how Ashley would be. Her chest pain returned for the first two days but otherwise, she was okay. My son and I were still unvaccinated and were no sicker than Ashley or my husband.
In July 2022, we received a letter from the MOH inviting us to take part in an important survey as part of a study on the long-term effects of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine. The study was for anyone 12 years and over, who had an official diagnosis of Myocarditis and or Pericarditis after any number of doses. To take part, at least 90 days must have passed since the onset of symptoms. We agreed to participate with Ashley’s approval, as felt it was important for as much information to be gathered about these reactions for future knowledge. A nurse called me and asked a whole lot of questions about Ashley and her experience. I spoke on Ashley’s behalf due to her age. I used the opportunity to give MOH feedback about the lack of support provided to the vaccine injured, explaining that when we got Covid, we received a phone call from a doctor within 24hrs to check that we were ok and were offered any necessary support. However, after reporting Ashley’s adverse reaction, there was NO follow-up whatsoever – we were left to follow up with doctors and push to get a diagnosis and find the necessary support ourselves. I truly believe that if a serious adverse reaction has been reported to CARM that there should be a follow-up by MOH to make sure that person has received the necessary support and treatment for their recovery. I also made them aware of the effect that this whole experience had on our mental health, not just for our daughter Ashley, but also myself. This mental distress was worsened due to the lack of acknowledgment by the MOH, the denial by the public that there are individuals who have ended up with ongoing health issues as a result of the vaccine, and the silencing and censorship from the media. I also questioned them on the statistics of these reactions stating that I believe that the figure of 3 per 100,000 is underestimated based on the individuals that I know of who’d been diagnosed with pericarditis/myocarditis in our city, which has a population of around 110,000 people. Plus, our cardiologist told me that 50% of the patients they were seeing in their clinic were there due to the vaccine. Unfortunately, their written letter of response to me did not address this particular question. Hopefully one day we will be told the true number of those affected.
On the 4th of August, we had our next follow-up with the cardiologist, who informed us they didn’t need to see Ashley again due to her positive MRI results and improvement, but if Ashley were to have a flare-up of symptoms again, we could come back. At this point, Ashley’s chest pain had been absent for a good month. She was doing well and exercising again like normal, so we were feeling positive. Ashley also informed me that she had stopped taking all medication as she felt she no longer needed to take it. She’d just been taking the Brufen as she found it more effective than the colchicine, plus she had started back on antifungal medication as her toenail was having issues again, and that had a contraindication with colchicine. During August she developed a head cold and started experiencing chest pain again during this time. I had thought it subsided soon after, but at the beginning of September, Ashley informed me that her chest had been quite sore for a few weeks, and she hadn’t told me. She’d had a school basketball tournament the week prior that was for the whole week. I called our GP about her flare-up of pain, who thought the week of basketball may have been too much too soon. She’d done basketball once a week over winter and had the occasional game with an uncomfortable chest before this, plus she’d noticed she was out of breath quicker than before but that could’ve been from her level of fitness at the time. We almost ended up back in Emergency on the weekend of 18th September as Ashley’s chest pain was very severe again and felt like someone was squeezing her heart, but we managed to get her to calm down and eventually the pain lessened although still there. Our GP started referring to her pericarditis as recurring because it had been over 6 months. She started up the Brufen again twice a day to get on top of the pain. Her pericarditis was proving to NOT be mild and short-lived as we are constantly being told!
I emailed the cardiologist to update them and asked if she could be scheduled for another 3 monthly follow up. We saw the cardiologist again on the 10th of November 2022, after having to cancel a couple of appointments due to Ashley feeling unwell. The cardiologist’s report stated that Ashley was a lot different from when they’d seen her last, that she was back at school almost 100% of the time, and that her recovery was encouraging. They discharged Ashley back into GP care, noting they’d be happy to see her at any time should there be any issues.
As I share Ashley’s story a year after her injury, I feel we can almost say she is fully recovered as the last time she had any chest pain was 4 months ago, in October 2022. She no longer takes any pain medication and is playing tennis again, along with other sports. Both our kids tested positive for covid for the 2nd time at the end of January with very mild symptoms, and Ashley did not suffer any chest pain or pericarditis symptoms at all during or after her infection.
We share Ashley’s story to raise awareness of these heart issues from the vaccine and to share our experience of what/who helped, for anyone who may be experiencing similar, and to also give some encouragement with Ashley’s recovery. Thank you for reading our story. Take care and God Bless x