Our daughters nightmare following the first and subsequent Gardasil vaccinations – April to September 2009.
On Tuesday 28 April 2009 our daughter visited her GP’s rooms in order to have cold symptoms checked – temperatures, congestion etc. Whilst there her GP asked whether she had the Cervical Cancer vaccinations, to which she replied that she hadn’t due to being absent from school (being chronically fatigued to the point where we had to withdraw her officially from year 12 in 2008). As the free vaccinations were due to cease as of 30 June 2009, her GP suggested our daughter commence the immunisation programme, and she therefore had her first vaccination. Her arm was rather sore and she got an immediate headache.
She was asked to come back in a month to have the second vaccination.
On Tuesday 26 May she again visited her GP and had a second Cervical Cancer vaccination. Upon leaving the surgery she almost fainted on the street and over the next few days experienced painful headaches, hot and cold temperatures, she vomited a couple of times, blacked out momentarily, and had stomach pains. She also started drinking large quantities of water which didn’t quench her thirst.
Over the next three weeks she progressively felt more unwell with headaches, fatigue, and experienced cold symptoms, ie congestion, cough, muscle aches and a sore throat.
On Tuesday 16 June she visited the GP again due to these symptoms and because of her continued thirst. He advised that he thought she had a viral infection and at the same time he did a blood sugar test, the result being 6.3 which he confirmed was normal.
On Wednesday 17 June she had a sleepless night, watching DVD’s until 4am and drinking copious quantities of water, with frequent visits to the bathroom. She also felt she was hallucinating. On one visit she felt intense pain on the left hand side of her head as if she had been hit and, upon returning to bed and lying down, she felt very dizzy and immediately after felt as if she had a weight on her chest and head as if she had been forced down on the bed. She called out for me saying that she felt something wasn’t right and started to hyperventilate, with ongoing pressure on her chest, hot and cold temperatures and extreme heart palpitations. She tried to get out of the bed and walk, however she collapsed on the floor. As she couldn’t breath properly and was having a panic attack, we called 000 and two paramedics arrived and checked her heart beat (150), and other vitals and gave her oxygen. She was then assisted down the stairs and taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Emergency where she was admitted at approx 5am.
Various tests were carried out in hospital, including blood tests and it was determined that she had had a panic/anxiety attack and that we should follow it up with her GP. Before we left she was given a potassium drink as a result of the blood tests.
On Thursday 18 June she spent the day in bed still feeling chest pains, shortness of breath, dizzy, headachy and drinking lots of water.
On Friday 19 June at approx 10pm she started to spasm in her arms (not at the same time, sometimes her left arm and then her right) from the shoulder down to her fingers, at the same time she appeared to faint rolling her eyes towards the back of her head. She didn’t respond when we called out, however when she came around her eyes were blank for a few seconds.
We rang 000 again and two paramedics arrived who carried out checks – blood pressure, heart, pulse etc, however they were perplexed by the involuntary shudders which continued to happen, so we went to St Vincent’s emergency.
Also during the course of the evening her arms went limp and she was unable to grip hold of anything, ie glass of water.
During the next 8 hours she was checked by various registrars/doctors/ nurses, and due to the ongoing spasms in the arms/fainting, she was given a valium, which seemed to assist after a while. She also had a chest and head xray. It was an appalling night in terms of emergency cases, including a man who was aggressive verbally and physically who kicked a door loudly, at which point Our daughter had another anxiety attack. We breathed together in order for her to regain some breath control, however she was very frightened and felt very vulnerable. Later another nurse checked her reflexes (legs) which were strong, however upon attempting to stand to go to the bathroom, she collapsed on the ground.
In the morning a neurologist at St Vincent, was contacted and he prescribed Epilepsy tablets (Epilim) over the phone to be taken during the weekend until he could see Our daughter on Monday at his clinic.
Our daughter continued to have difficulty breathing (mostly from around 4pm until the morning), feeling a tightness in her chest and hallucinating, and when eventually she fell asleep she had shallow rapid breaths together with body spasms every 3 minutes or so, which would often wake her up.
On Monday 22 June, we saw the Neourologist at 11am. Our daughter’s legs were quite weak, therefore she was walking in an odd fashion. He carried out the same reflex tests to her legs and also moved her head in a precise way to test for Labyrinthitis, which had been suggested as a possible cause of her issues. He stated that she didn’t have Labyrinthitis and that she should contact her GP and make an appointment with him to see a psychiatrist to talk about any stressful issues. He advised that she was not to take any more Epilim tablets, He also suggested that she should have an MRI which she did two hours later at St Vincents Clinic.
The week progressed with no reoccurrence of the involuntary spasms to her arms, however she continued to have difficulty breathing, felt pressure on her chest, had a constant headache, bouts of dizziness and when she managed to sleep she continued to have shallow short breaths with attendant jerking of her body.
On Wednesday 24 June we saw her GP to advise him of the current status and for him to check her state of health. We mentioned Labyrinthitis and he determined that her left ear was slightly blocked and her (R or L eye) was slightly twitching, indicating there could be Labyrinthitis. He also listened to her chest and it was clear.
On Friday 26 June Chesh had an EEG at St Vincent’s prior to seeing the neourologist. He advised that the MRI was clear as he originally thought, however a slight dysrhythmia had shown up on the EEG which he believed was probably as a result of the four febrile convulsions shehad prior to age four. He didn’t feel there was anything sinister and that her brain was normal.
On Sunday 27 June a programme focusing on the adverse affects of the Gardasil Cervical Cancer vaccination was aired on “Sunday Night” on Channel 7 and listed nausea, lethargy, vomiting, panic attacks, psychiatric and cardiac complications, convulsions, paralysis, coma and death as being some of the effects experienced by girls who had received the vaccination.
We were sent a link to the programme on Monday 28 June and when we watched a woman aged 25 having involuntary seizures in a hospital bed and read about the adverse affects of Gardasil, we immediately began to investigate further,
We spoke to the programmer of “Sunday Night” at Channel 7 to obtain more information and it transpired that at least a dozen other concerned parents had phoned to report similar adverse affects experienced by their daughters. However the official comment by Channel 7 was that we should all refer back to the GP’s who had administered the vaccination.
We rang Merke (the manufacturer of Gardasil) who referred us to the distributor CSL and we lodged an official report on the symptoms our daughter was experiencing. We also rang the TGA to do likewise.
We then rang her GP and advised him of the Channel 7 programme and the fact that we had lodged an official report. At the same time we enquired as to why our daughter had been given the second vaccination within a month as opposed to the recommended two months between receiving the first and second vaccinations, to which he replied he didn’t know.
We also advised that whilst googling Gardasil on Drugs.Com consumer information, it stated that before receiving Gardasil advise your doctor if you have a fever or signs of infection, and/or a weak immune system.
Our daughter had received the first vaccination when consulting her GP about her cold symptoms. At the same time she had reminded him of having been chronically fatigued. Note: As a result of blood test taken sometime earlier, Our daughter also had on her medical records with her GP that she had had Glandular Fever in the past.
We alerted her GP to the TGA’s latest report on Gardasil dated 5 May 2009 which included adverse reactions and the number of reports received.
We also said that we would like Our daughter to see an immunologist , to which he referred us to one at St Vincents.
On Thursday 2 July we saw the immunologist and showed him a copy of our notes on Our daughter’s health as she was so exhausted by the whole process of not being able to sleep and telling her story again. He chose to only read the first couple of paragraphs and when listening to her trying to explain what she had been experiencing, plus our concerns regarding the Gardasil vaccination, he responded by saying that she should think of positive things and take some sleeping tablets, however to be careful of not becoming reliant on them. He also recommended seeking psychological assistance.
In our quest to get appropriate medical attention and support for our daughter, We also contacted the Vaccine Information Service who recommended that we get in touch with a practioner, who had brought in an antidote to Gardasil from the US due to many of her patients having experienced adverse affects to the vaccination.
Prior to our appointment with this person on Tuesday 7 July, our daughter had had another sleepless night and every time she started to nod off her heart would give a massive jolt and start palpitating, which would cause her to become alarmed and hyperventilate. This happened in the car on the way to the appointment, which caused her great concern, so by the time we got to the appointment she was barely able to walk or breath normally. The practioner diagnosed that our daughter was highly allergic to dust mites, animal dander, Australian bush pollen and to some of the ingredients in the Gardasil vaccination. So created some homeopathic type drops for her to take three times a day for three weeks.
Our daughter was distressed throughout the day and that night due to her hyperventilating we called 000 and we were taken by ambulance to St Vincents hospital.
We waited for over an hour to see someone, during which time Our daughter was barely able to sit on a chair due to her body thrashing around and her heart palpitating wildly. Eventually an emergency doctor saw her and explained that whilst the symptoms she was experiencing were terrifying she wasn’t going to die, her heart wasn’t going to stop pumping and she just had to learn to breath correctly in order to control the attacks. He then printed off an article he had googled about panic attacks and recommended that she should see a psychologist.
After reading the article, our daughter started to ‘elephant’ breath, learning how to monitor the intake and expellation of air by counting, which she did very conscientiously.
On Monday 13 July we took her to a counsellor counseling for counseling and relaxation therapy. We were there for over an hour, however ten minutes after departing she started having a panic attack in the car and asked to be taken back and the counsellor who kindly spent a further hour or so with her until her breathing became more settled.
On Wednesday 15 July she spent the day with her father and she had another panic attack where the paramedics were called out, however she used the elephant breathing and eventually was able to bring it under control.
On Thursday 16 July she couldn’t walk up the stairs to her Father’s apartment due to fatigue and shallow breathing, so he took her to the Darlinghurst Medical Centre and she saw a GP who organized for her to have a number of blood tests.
The tests revealed that she was a Coeliac, and we have changed her diet to accommodate this. They also confirmed that she is highly allergic to dust mites, Australian pollen and animal epithelial mix (reconfirming an earlier diagnosis). Further she tested positive to having had Epstein-Barr virus in the past, plus other anomalies.
On Friday 17 July her father took her to an appointment with Ran eminent psychiatrist at St Vincents who, after talking to her for an hour, confirmed that there was some anxiety present however it didn’t warrant medication. We then attended a second appointment, during which the psychiatrist gave her a form entitled ‘Goal setting for an improved quality of life’ which he asked her to consider in terms of personal issues/relationships/work/play.
Since the initial consultation with the GP at Darlinghurst the doctor has arranged for her to have a number of other tests – an ultrasound and ECG on her heart (scarring showing up on the latter); a lung function test where it was confirmed she has large strong lungs, however she hyperventilates; an x-ray of her sinuses where it was revealed she has a deviated septum (to be explored further), and an elemental hair analysis, the results of which indicated she had a high Calcium/low Magnesium ratio and high Calcium/low Potassium ratio. She has also given her intravenous Vitamin C and B injections (one of each), the former being quite painful.
The GP also noted that her limbs periodically went into spasm (for some time her body constantly moved/jerked continuously unless she was asleep), so she arranged for her to see another Neurologist at St Vincents, who primarily felt it was anxiety and recommended she take something to calm her and assist with sleeping. The GP reluctantly prescribed Xanax, however after only taking a half of 1mg our daughter felt her breathing was even more shallow so she didn’t continue taking them.
During w/c 10 August she had an anxiety attack one night which didn’t seem to respond to the techniques she had learnt to assist her. She tried very hard for an hour to relax, however we eventually rang 000 and the paramedics suggested they take her to St Vincents. We were there from 1am – 4am in a waiting room and unfortunately no-one attended to us during that time. As her breathing had settled down by then, we discharged ourselves.
During this period her legs, feet and hands were frequently tingly, and sometimes even numb, including her face on a few occasions. Various parts of her body have also ached, including her right arm, and also she was unable to hold/grip anything in her hands at one stage due to weakness. Her blood pressure has varied greatly, and on occasions has been quite low. Also her temperature has been unstable most days.
Our daughter has recently been introduced to, a clinic in Bondi Junction where a number of different practitioners offer their services. Our daughter has been seeing a GP, who has been treating her with cranial osteopathy and acupuncture.
She has also seen a Respiratory Physiologist, who likewise and they have been monitoring her breathing (apart from hyperventilating she is not producing sufficient CO2 to support her). Initially when our daughter first saw him on Wednesday 12 August she collapsed on the way to his office. She was off the scale, at times, in terms of breathing 72 breaths a minute as opposed to between 8 – 10 for most people, however he was able to stabilise her breathing sufficiently for me to take her home. However an hour or so later she again began to feel odd and started hyperventilating and we had to call the paramedics who were very patient and by using controlled breathing Our daughter was able to normalise her breathing.
The next day Thursday 13 August she spent the day with her Father and had another breathing/anxiety attack. The same paramedics arrived and between everyone her breathing was once again stabilised.
Our daughter was admitted to St Vincents again on Wednesday August 19, however with different symptoms than before. She had just come home from a session with the Respiratory Physiologist and she was feeling relaxed. However within half an hour her heart started to palpitate wildly and she began to hyperventilate, plus this time her head started to shake uncontrollably which of course only added to her anxiety. Her eyes started to roll back and she fainted a number of times. 000 was called and she was admitted to St Vincents where a number of tests were carried out including an ECG and various blood tests. A doctor eventually saw us and because her health is still compromised, he recommended that we see a senior immunologist at St Vincents Clinic.
The next day, Friday 14 August, we drove Our daughter to a Pathology lab to drop off a 24 hour urine sample she had been asked to do and for her to have a blood test to check her Adrenals. On the way back she had difficulty breathing due to a blocked nose and not having a nose spray with her (which she now uses daily), and by the time we got home (five minutes) she was having a substantial anxiety attack. Her heart kept giving off electrical charges, her legs were spasming uncontrollably and her eyes kept rolling back as she would lose consciousness momentarily. She got quite angry with the fact that this was happening yet again, however after about 40 minutes through controlled breathing she managed to settle down sufficiently for us to assist her slowly up the stairs to our apartment.
On Friday 28 August at about 10pm Our daughter had an episode in which she experienced electrical type charges to her heart and her right leg started to spasm above the knee. Her eyes also rolled up towards the back of her head and she lost consciousness momentarily at least a dozen times. This episode lasted about 40 minutes, however her breathing was normal throughout.
Current status. Our daughter is very focused on her breathing during her waking day. When she sleeps her breathing is often rapid and shallow, and often through her mouth, in part due to blocked sinuses (she uses a nose spray throughout the day). She’s always fatigued, even when she manages to sleep at night. She often has headaches and her temperature fluctuates daily. With a minimum of exertion she feels odd, and she can’t stand in the shower for any decent length of time as she feels wobbly. Apart from attending medical appointments, she rarely goes out of the apartment.
What have we learnt.
The symptoms our daughter has faced and still faces are mirrored by other young woman following Gardasil vaccination both here and elsewhere around the world
Whilst there are increasing reports of adverse reactions, there is no apparent coordinated or independent collection of data on what occurs in Australia or elsewhere
No one appears to have a solution to the adverse reactions that young woman are experiencing
The medical profession generally does not see a link between Gardasil and these adverse reactions
The more you investigate however, the more concerned parents should be regarding the lack of evidence as to efficacy (if any) and duration of efficacy , with some commentators commenting that they may need to re vaccinate in 5 years time
A number of commentators believe that the regular use of pap smears is a least as effective as Gardasil and with no adverse reactions
There is no independent collection of data on adverse reactions with the only data being collected by VAERS in an uncoordinated and voluntary sense
In Australia Gardasil was launched several years before the conclusion of clinical trials (they conclude in September 2009), it begs the question why?
We suspect a link between adverse reactions and those getting vaccinated having a poor immune system or auto immune diseases . We have heard reports that Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in USA is looking at this but can find no further details
We believe that Mercke or the TGA in Australia needs to elevate the warnings on use of Gardasil to ensure all GPS are aware of, monitor and report to an independent authority any adverse reactions following the receipt of Gardasil