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Eithne Branigan

First Dose of Astra Zenica on 5/18/21 Lot #ABX3507

Louth, Ireland

Update 12/10/21:

Eithne has been getting the word out there in Louth, Ireland this week. She is on the front page of the local newspaper Drogheda Independent and online independent Newspaper and Argus Dundalk newspaper, also their facebook pages! Thank you for speaking out Eithne! You can download the screenshots of the newspaper here:

Download PDF • 7.32MB


Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?

During lockdown I had lost a stone and had started using a WiFit, this lead me to go running outdoors which I found very enjoyable. I was up to 5km and was considering participating in short marathons when normality resumed. I am 61 years old

Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?

The usual reactions at first which I pretty much ignored. I did have a red mark and lump under the injection site which went across my arm so it caught my attention. On day 16 I woke at 3am and noticed a honeycomb mesh across my vision with vertical and horizontal lines. I went to another room and put on my glasses and a light and I was almost 100% blind, could just see the shape of a dark towel. I didn't panic, didn't wake my husband and when it passed and my vision returned I went back to bed and went asleep. This happened a few times and I contacted my GP who got my sight checked to eliminate visual issues but all was clear. On 10th July I awoke (again 3am) and I had facial paralysis. I felt I was drifting away and thought I would die. I couldn't speak when I woke my husband and tried to use sign language to tell him to phone 999. Things changed after July 10th, I felt I had spinal compression in the top of my spinal cord and I begin to get excruciating headaches which went on for sometimes 24 hours at a 10/10 pain scale. My husband called an ambulance and I was brought to hospital but I was put sitting in the waiting area and had heard the staff mention 'panic attack' so I felt that my symptoms had been misunderstood. By this stage I had begun to come back to myself and could speak again so I decided to go home. I was not fit to sit in the waiting area and felt I was in the wrong place for treatment. I went to a hospital specializing in neurology the next day and eventually saw a neurologist who gave me more medication and did a CT which was normal. The headaches built and happened closer and closer together until I was almost completely disabled and afraid to leave the house as any physical activity whatsoever could spark a headache and no medication worked. My GP tried a;; the way along the line to help and was very supportive but nothing worked and the meds from the neurologist didn't work either. The pain I experience is indescribable and all my tests have come back normal. My neurologist says that she is seeing people with the same injuries after all the vaccines and that they as a profession do not know what has happened to us or how to treat it, all they can do is treat the symptoms ie meds for migraine.

Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?

The pain I experience is indescribable and to add insult to injury a vaccine passport was introduced in Ireland which meant on a good day I could not go out for lunch etc with my husband or friends. I felt alone and isolated and as I couldn't get a second vaccine and I felt ostracized by my community as the misinformation spread that people who were not fully vaccinated were to blame for rising covid numbers. That really added to the trauma of being injured and nobody seemed to be recognising that there were so many injured people. It has been the worst time of my life. I get flashbacks to July 10th and know if I had not been in such good health that I would have died that night. I am frustrated that Vaccine injury is still not being recognised, researched and we are still being demonised for not taking a 2nd dose. I fear for my future, is this me for life? Will I ever fully recover? Without my husband, who has been my rock, and my family and friends I don't think I would have been able to carry on and I cried hearing about Bree Dressen's friend. That could so easily have been me. There have been 60,000 to 70,000 in Ireland who took a first vaccine but not a second, why? where are their stories. We're obviously not anti-vax or we would not have had the first one and the pressure to be fully vaccinated is so intense these decisions were not made lightly. Also, so many injured have had a 2nd dose does that mean those figures are twice as high or more. Where are the injured people of Ireland? I set up a group for us but it's almost impossible to get the word out there as we're judged as anti vax. When I am well enough I try to inform people but most of the last few months I have not been well enough to do even that.

Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:

No diagnosis although both my GP and Neurologist have said they know it is a vaccine reaction. They don't know what has happened so can't fully explain what has occurred, nobody seems to know exactly. I've had CT, MRI brain and every blood test available. I've done oral vit therapy and went for IV therapy (one treatment worked, one seems to exacerbate my headaches. I've tried a few complementary therapies but was afraid to continue as at the time I felt I was developing seizures (Non LOC) and everything that would normally help seemed to cause a crisis. So I sat very still for weeks and had headaches that lasted 24 hours if I moved about.

Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?

I reported my reactions myself as I heard that medical professionals were not doing this. I emailed them one or two times after that and now they look for updates on my treatment and test results.

Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?

This week has been better than the last few months but I still have a headache of about 7/10 at all times and nothing takes that away. If you had asked me that a week ago I would have said my symptoms were getting worse every week but it all depends on how bad my headache is on a given day. I still can't exercise of do very much each day, the slightest activity starts the reaction in my spinal cord and neck daily.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

We're not trying to influence anyone else's decision to be vaccinated and are not anti-vax - obviously as we went for immunization like most other people. But why are our cases being covered up, why are we the bad guys and why do people expect us to take further vaccinations when we haven't recovered from the last one and are frightened to try another shot. I personally have been traumatized by the experience and am not sure if I'll ever feel comfortable getting another injection of any kind. Why does nobody seem to be trying to help us and why are the people who try to speak out on our behalf being discredited.



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