Pfizer # 1: FF4222
Pfizer # 2: FH4092
Within 36 hours, Damen went through a Myocarditis episode and diagnosis, a heart attack and 2 separate stent insertion surgeries. This occurred 3 weeks, and 2 days after his first Pfizer vaccine and 2 days after his 40th Birthday.
I’m currently 40 years old and dad to an 11 year old son. A couple of months prior to turning 40, I booked myself in at my GP for a full body ‘Warrant of Fitness’. My test results came back with no red flags. My doctor (who’s known me for 18 years) commented that I was in pretty good shape for 40.
I had the vaccine to keep my job and keep my son safe. I wasn’t pro or anti-vax but just did what we were requested to do by govt and media. I had my first Pfizer Vaccine on 22nd July 2021 with no immediate effects, just a sore arm the next day.
On Saturday 14th of August 2021 (2 days after my 40th birthday), I was standing on the sidelines with about 30 other parents watching my son play rugby. It was about 11am and I had pain that came in my chest, in-between where my 2 ribs meet in the middle. It felt like a cramp, like my whole chest was in a vice. I thought it was indigestion, so I walked around a bit, had some water, and tried to stretch it out, I didn’t say anything to anyone, then about 15 mins later I had severe pain in my heart. One of my son’s rugby friends came up to me and said, “Are you ok Coach (I’ve been coaching and assistant coaching for 8 years and coach their team sometimes) you’ve turned grey”. A few people then saw me and were concerned and commented how grey I was. Within a few mins from the severe pain, it felt like my left arm had been run over. I went to my mum who was also there and said, “I think I’m having a heart attack” (she’s an ex-nurse). My ex-wife, also at the game, rushed me to Botany A&E, I felt like we couldn’t get there fast enough. Every time the car stopped at lights, I wanted to get out to run to just get there faster – a 10 minute trip that felt like an hour. I was in so much pain, I thought I was going to die. When I got there I walked up to the counter and said I think I’m having a heart attack. They gave me an ECG straight away. I stripped down to my boxers because I felt like my body was on fire and I was sweating so much. I was extremely uncomfortable and no position I tried (on my knees, stomach, standing, or anything) could relieve what I was feeling, it felt like temporary insanity.
The ECG didn’t show any issue, so they said it’s not a heart attack, the nurse was a bit shocked because of my external discomfort, then said, “It’s most likely Myocarditis” and explained what Myocarditis was, inflammation of the heart muscle, and said this doesn’t show up on an ECG, the doctor confirmed this. They gave me morphine which didn’t agree with me (dry reaching), so they gave me Fentanyl instead. I couldn’t breathe. I was in so much pain it was unbelievable, I’d never experienced pain like that before. It was right under my left Pectoral Muscle and coming in waves of 10/10 pain, then every few seconds it was 15/10 pain.
My mum, ex-wife and son were with me, and mum started to panic as she’d never seen me in pain like that before – even the doctor didn’t know what to do, he was frustrated and went to his computer, and he even swore a couple of times like he didn’t know what to do (which made me panic more). They called an ambulance to take me from Botany to Middlemore hospital. They gave me the ‘Green Whistle’ for pain relief and the pain left, then I was really chirpy.
At Middlemore I was put in a short stay room and 20 mins after I got there (between 12:30-1pm), a nurse come and give me 2 Panadol. We’d sat there for 5 & 1/2 hours, and nobody had come to check on me at all. I turned to my ex-wife said to her “If they told me it was Myocarditis, I would think surely someone should’ve seen me by now”. She said to just give it another half an hour and if no-one came we’d go. Thank God I listened to her as I had the exact same pain come straight on about 20 mins after this. It came on with no warning and was in exactly the same spot as I’d felt the pain before. I thought ‘Here we go again!’. I stripped down to my boxers again as I started sweating again. There were no nurses around at all, my mum was yelling for someone to help, and I was trying to comfort my son at the same time, as he was experiencing all of this. A heart specialist happened to walk past my room and put me on an ECG straight away. When he saw it he said “You’re having a heart attack! This is bad” Mum, my ex-wife and my son all started crying. I still have nightmares of how I lied to my son and told him “I’ll be ok” but I didn’t know whether I was going to be ok at all. They then left me sitting on the gurney having a heart attack, while they waited for the paperwork to be completed for the transfer to Auckland City hospital for an emergency stent (they don’t do Emergency ones at Middlemore).
I was awake the whole time during the surgery. I couldn’t feel anything and got to watch the whole procedure on an 80 inch screen in front of me. The surgeon and nurses were all quite young (under 30), and I was making jokes at the time, like “Do your parents know you’re out this late?” etc. They were great and all very professional though. They had injected the dye to expose the arteries in my heart to see what was happening. I’d had a 95% blockage in my LAD (Left Anterior Descending) artery, a major artery that wraps around your heart. They had told me they’d never seen someone have a 95% blockage and live through it – they said the only reason I was still alive is that my heart was strong enough to be able to pump blood through the remaining 5% gap.
The next morning (the Sunday) I had a bedside X-ray/ultrasound type thing of my heart (a 3D X-Ray), to check that everything with the stent and heart was ok. A couple of hours later, a doctor came to me and told me I was very lucky and that not many survive the ‘widow maker’ blockage and said there was no permanent damage to my heart. I was then transferred back to Middlemore late Sunday morning.
Back at Middlemore a Cardiologist met with me, he had the results of the bedside X-ray and told me “You have major damage to your heart, and you have another 75% blockage in the artery next door to your LAD”. Then told me they don’t usually stent anything 75% and below so they weren’t going to do anything about it. I questioned him about this – I knew that the stress of knowing I had a 75% blockage would cause me anxiety and I didn’t want to go home knowing that. I ended up convincing him to do the stent in the other artery. For Middlemore to do the surgery, it can’t be classed as emergency and has to be scheduled – they scheduled for that afternoon.
I was awake through this surgery too, saw it on screen again, but this time I felt everything. I felt them go up through the incision on my wrist and pushing the balloon and stent up through the artery and up and into my heart, I felt it going into my heart and it hurt like hell, but I knew it had to be done.
Before my release on Wednesday 18th August, the doctor highly recommended me getting the second vaccine. He told me that if I got covid, it could affect me 10 fold. A few hours after I was released from hospital Auckland went into lockdown, so I was at home, but no-one could come and see me, My ex-wife had my son with her. I had no support to connect with others at that point and I felt very isolated and shut out from the world. I could make phone calls and speak to people, but it was not the same as being around people. After what I experienced it was very hard to be by myself. Since it happened I could barely sleep. I was also afraid to go to sleep in case I didn’t wake up.
I had my second Pfizer vaccine on 15th of September 2021, straight after we were out of lockdown, and only had the sore arm afterwards again. I had feared at the time what could happen to me if I got covid, and I needed to be here for my son. Every part of my body questioned what I was doing, I’d gone against myself doing it, but with now having a heart condition I felt to trust the advice of the medical professionals because they’d saved my life (I will not be having any more, I want nothing more to do with it). I went straight back to work after because I had to.
Throughout the process of what happened to me, all we heard the medical professionals say was that it was a ‘coincidence’, they were in denial that this was from the vaccine. I told them I think that the heart attack was bought on by the myocarditis and the myocarditis bought on by the vaccine – They were quick to shut me down (The cardiologist before I got sent home, and my GP). They didn’t want to talk about it or admit anything. They were all deny, deny, deny, or coincidence. My mum and my ex-wife both picked up on the same language and wording they were using.
My GP told me he believed the Myocarditis kicked off the heart attack but refused to put anything in writing. I have an appt with him to make an ACC claim as I’ve been struggling for a long while. I can’t climb the 12 stairs up to my house without breaking into a sweat and being out of breath. I can’t coach rugby, I can’t run around with my son, and can’t walk the dogs when I get home from work like I used to. I constantly have weakness and fatigue and am so tired that I drift off, and get to the point of sleep, but then something pulls me out of it, and I wake up and I’m really wired – it happens every night.. I’m up at 2am trying to make myself tired again. I haven’t slept more than 6 hours in any night since this happened.
I am now on 6 medications every day (Aspirin, Atorvastatin, Allopurinol, Perindopril, Ticagrelor, Venlafaxine) they all have side effects – depression and anxiety being some, and my kidneys have given me hassles. I’m constantly going to the GP to get them to change around the meds to get the balance right, I think it’s almost there. I’ll be on medication for the rest of my life. I never used to take a pill even for a headache. If I miss a day of these, I get fuzzy and feel how dependent my body has become on them.
I have an identical twin and after what happened to me, he spent a lot of money to get his heart fully checked out, and perfectly fine. I haven’t had any follow up cardiologist appointment at all, for them to check if I’m ok since everything happened. I asked my GP for a referral to a cardiologist a few months back and haven’t yet heard a thing.
I had covid 4 months ago, It came on pretty quickly with burning eyes, then hot and cold fevers, and an aching body for about 7 days. It lasted longer for me than those around me who had it. My immune system is not great due to all the medication I’m on and the fact I can’t do what I used to do, and I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get back to that again.
I need to do a certain number of hours at work per week to make ends meet, but I’m struggling to do them. I feel I’ve aged 20 years since the heart attack – My body aches and I typically only sleep about 2 hours per night. They won’t give me sleeping pills because of all the other medications I’m already taking.
After a heart attack, you question your mortality and future. I want to be a dad again one day, but now I have issues in that area. I did up a will when I got home from the hospital – I never imagined myself doing a will up at 40.