On the following pages you will read personal accounts of girls who have become ill after receiving the Cervarix vaccine. There may not be any formal scientific evidence that these injuries are related, but you can decide for yourself after reading the following accounts. Keep in mind, there are many thousands of girls experiencing the same type of “mystery illnesses” and health complaints from all around the world. What do they have in common? The HPV vaccine.
Currently in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Update as at January 2010:
Ashleigh is out of hospital, attending school on a part time basis but still has to make use of her wheelchair. She is still not a very well girl.
Date of Admission to Alder Hey Hospital: 24th October 2008
Ashleigh had her vaccine of Cervarix (1st dose only) at her secondary school on 15th October 2008 and became ill within half an hour with symptoms of intense head pain which made her scream out. In the next few days she felt light headed and dizzy. She then developed pain in legs. She collapsed 5 times in the next 48 hours. She went with family to London to visit friends but worsened and was admitted into Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey for two days.
Discharge note said:
Vertigo and generalised myalgia. Probably due to vaccination. Dr J Fisher St2 Paeds
She gradually deteriorated with bad leg pain and could no longer walk.
She was admitted to Alder Hey hospital on 24th October 2008 where she has remained. She was admitted with pains in arms and legs, crawling on all fours to the toilet as not able to stand or walk. Pain severe.
Dr Curran of Alder Hey Hospital stated that in his opinion this was not caused by the vaccine.
Is currently having physiotherapy
Since admission has had chest infection and UTI.
Ashleigh’s condition today – as at August 2009
Ashleigh is still in Alder Hey. She is now incontinent and has been seen by incontinent services in reference to having a catheter. They have decided to try her on a bladder control programme first. She is continuing to have recurring urine infections especially after contracting e – coli in hospital.
Ashleigh is now managing to stand with a walking frame and manages a few steps. Progress is very slow. She is hoping to go back to school in September part time but will need a full time help.
Sadly the family will have to move, as their current house is still unsuitable for Ashleigh.
Social services still continue to blame mother and she is not allowed to see charts or Ashleigh’s medical records. Although Ashleigh does manage a few steps with a walking frame she has been told she is likely to need the wheelchair for years to come.
The hospital have started, after 10 months to do more thorough testing to find out exactly what is causing her problems.
Cheryl Cave, Ashleigh’s mother is understandably angry at the way she and her daughter have been treated not only by the system which she feels has failed them both but by Alder Hey Hospital and the NHS as a whole.
Dr Richard Newton Consultant Pediatric Neurologist examined Ashleigh on the 13th March 2009.
He concluded that she had a well documented adverse event to vaccine. He said, “By far the most likely explanation of Ashleigh’s illness is that initially she had an adverse event following vaccination”.
He added, “Rehabilitation usually brings about good results although the fix is often not quick, particularly when the illness has gone on for five months or more.
Sarah Chandler – Surrey
This is an extract from the article in the Daily Mail dated 5th April 2009
Sarah Chandler, 12, has chronic fatigue syndrome. She felt lethargic after the first jab but her condition worsened after the second jab.
And a spokesman for GlaxoSmith-Kline says: ‘We understand that every adverse reaction related to vaccination is distressing for the girl and family involved and we take these reports seriously. We work closely with the MHRA to monitor any reactions to the vaccination. ‘The majority of adverse reactions reported have been related to the process of injection, rather than to the type of vaccine, i.e. the most common side effect is soreness at the site of injection, which you would expect to see in any vaccination programme.” ‘We remain confident in the safety profile of Cervarix which was extensively tested through clinical trials and has been licensed for use in girls and women in the UK.’
But that is of little comfort to Cathy Chandler from Surrey, whose 12-year-old daughter Sarah has just been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Her illness began a week after her first injection in September 2008, and she has barely attended school since November.
‘I know I can’t prove the connection, but I’m as certain as I can be,’ says Cathy.
Sarah had the second in a course of three Cervarix jabs in October. She felt ill and lethargic following the first dose. But after the second, her condition deteriorated. She was listless and her throat felt, and still feels, as if something was stuck in it. Antibiotics did nothing to ease it.
‘It took me a while to make the connection to Cervarix, but once I had it all made sense,’ says Cathy, 53, a part-time administrator. ‘I panicked and thought, “What’s happened to her? What have they done?”‘
In recent weeks, her health has improved enough for her to attend school for nine hours a week, but it looks unlikely that she will be back full-time for many months.
While Sarah’s doctors have never said they believe the vaccination is the cause, they have not ruled it out. Sarah’s doctor advised against her having the last injection of the course.
‘Sarah was worried about missing it,’ says Cathy, ‘The doctor explained that as HPV is sexually transmitted, you can reduce your risk of contracting it by avoiding unprotected sex, when the time comes.’
But Cathy adds: ‘She didn’t say Sarah’s illness was linked to the HPV vaccine in particular - any vaccine could potentially have had the same effect.’
Stacey Jones – Bilston, West Midlands
Received three Cervarix vaccinations – 15th November 2008; 24th January 2009; 16th May 2009
(Age 17 at time of vaccination)
Extract from The Telegraph newspaper dated 3rd October 2009
“Stacey Jones, 17, suffered her first epileptic seizure days after having the Cervarix injection, which is being offered to all schoolgirls under a Government programme.”
“In the weeks which followed, she had dozens more fits, which caused such severe brain injury that she has been admitted to a rehabilitation unit, which is helping her to relearn basic tasks like making a sandwich.”
“The parents of the teenager, from Bilston in West Midlands, are convinced that the final vaccination triggered swelling in the brain, which has been diagnosed as the cause of her neurological problems. Julie and Kerry Jones say that as a result, their “happy-go-lucky” girl became paranoid and violent, leaving her family in despair”.
“When the teenager became increasingly emotional in the weeks following her first two jabs, in November and January, her parents thought their easy-going daughter was finally succumbing to adolescent mood swings. But within four days of her third injection on the 16th May 2009, Stacey suffered an epileptic seizure, followed by 17 more in the following week. The fits continued for months, while the teenager became increasingly disturbed and psychotic, hearing voices and making murderous threats. Doctors said the epilepsy was caused by swelling of the brain, but the family (at that time) has been given no explanation as to how the damage occurred.”
Julie spoke to the neurologist, Dr Corston and asked him if he had come across encephalitis before and he replied “I have dealt with two cases of encephalitis in the last five years but it has been about twenty years since I have seen it this serious”.
Update: Stacey’s form of encephalitis was a very rare form – Encephalitis – anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis which in effect is an antibody attacking the brain. This type in Stacey’s case was not caused by an infection. Stacey’s mum makes these comments: “When you go to see your GP and medication is prescribed there is always a patient information leaflet in with your medication. This leaflet gives you information about your medication and tells you about the side effects that you can get when taking this medication. It will also give you a list of serious side effects and it will tell you that if you suffer from any of these symptoms then stop taking this medication immediately and seek medical advice. Stacey was suffering serious side effects after taking her epilepsy medication ‘Carbamazepine’ but it was not noticed by trained nurses during her eight week stay in hospital. Her dad was the one who commented that within 10 minutes of her having this medication she became aggressive.”
“Stacey was discharged from New Cross Hospital on Wednesday 15th July and was transferred to Penn Psychiatric Hospital. We objected to Stacey being transferred here because we had been told by a psychiatrist that Stacey’s problem was a medical issue and not a mental one.
We were contacted the next day to fetch Stacey home because it wasn’t the right environment for her and we then had six weeks of physical and verbal aggression.”
“In September 2009, Stacey was admitted to an NHS rehabilitation unit for brain injury, where she is relearning simple tasks. Seizures are minimised by five types of medication, but the teenager’s memory has been badly damaged. Mrs Jones, 44, said: “She was such a lovely, happy go-lucky girl, now she is just a shell. I really feel she has been used as a guinea pig. I don’t think there is enough evidence that the vaccination programme is safe – this all happened days after Stacey was given the vaccine and we don’t have any other explanation for what triggered her brain injury.”
Reason for referral: Ms Jones was admitted to West Heath House on 1 September 2009 following a referral by Alexa Hazel (Occupational Therapist, Community Neurorehabilitation Team, West Park Hospital). Prior to this, Ms Jones was living at home with her parents. Her parents reported difficulties managing her behaviour after she was diagnosed with encephalitis in May 2009.
After she had been in BIRT for approximately two weeks she started to complain about having spots in front of her eyes and headaches. Julie spoke to the staff and asked if they could sort out an appointment at the opticians for her to get her eyes tested. She was taken the following week and was prescribed glasses. Julie adds “Stacey at the age of 3 was diagnosed with a lazy eye and wore a patch and then glasses. She stopped wearing the patch at the age of 5 and stopped wearing the glasses at about the age of 13. Stacey did not have any other eye problems until after she was vaccinated with Cervarix. She now has been prescribed glasses and wears them – she also has to do this when she gets headaches.”
About four weeks later we were told that her right knee had just suddenly popped out of its socket as she sat on the bed. One of the staff put it back and she was referred for physio. Another week passed and it happened again and she was taken to the doctors who sent her for x-rays, nothing showed.
Stacey has now been home from the special unit since Christmas and progresses slowly. She is under the care of a neurologist and was taught basic skills by the staff at the special unit, West Heath House, 54 Ivy House Road, West Heath, Birmingham. An Assessment Review Report has been prepared on Stacey. The following are statements from this report but further clarification can be made direct to the contributors at West Heath House, 54 Ivy House Road, West Heath, Birmingham B38 8JW: Dr Tim Hull, Consultant Neuropsychologist; Dr David Hacker, Clinical Psychologist; Louise Johnstone, Occupational Therapist; Sarah Empson, Speech and Language Therapist; Marian Foley, Assistant Psychologist; Alice Roblin, Assistant Psychologist.
History of brain injury: Stacey Jones’ symptoms began on 16 May 2009 (date of third vaccination). This was in the context of having recently received the third in a serious of vaccinations for cervical cancer. Her mother also reported behavioural change following the previous two vaccinations in November 2008 and January 2009. This related to emotional liability and one uncharacteristic incident of physical aggression.
Following the vaccination on the 16 May 2009 there was a seven day history of severe headache and disturbed sleep. On 22 May 2009 Ms Jones had a seizure whilst at home. She was then admitted to New Cross Hospital for six weeks. During this time she experienced further seizures and frequent episodes of agitation and physical aggression, night time wandering and absconding. Brain imaging revealed abnormalities consistent with encephalitis and she was subsequently treated with steroids. She has limited memory for her time in New Cross Hospital.
Stacey is making slow progress and is at present under three specialists. Dr Aung, consultant in rehabilitation medicine, Dr Ram, psychiatrist and Dr Pall her neurologist. She still suffers with short term memory loss and her medication is being reduced by one mg every fortnight. Her neurologist is deciding on whether she should have another MRI scan to see if there is any change inside her brain. She has just had some blood tests done to see if the encephalitis is subsiding and we have got to go back to see him in July 2010.
Lucy Davies – Nuneaton, Warwickshire. (Aged 14)
Received Cervarix vaccination on September 21st 2009 - PM.
(one vaccination only)
Lucy awoke the next morning with total voice loss (Aphonia). She had an extremely sore throat and was feverish, plus she had pain at the injection site. We left it for a day or so and then took her to the Doctors. He described her complaint as ‘Acute Laryngitis’, when queried over the possibility of a connection to the vaccination he said NO! Nothing more than a coincidence. Although a known registered side effect was Upper respiratory tract infection. Lucy spent the next six weeks with no voice whatsoever, her throat infection took three to four weeks to clear up, during this time her joints had become painful and her legs were feeling weak, her swimming ground to a halt as she no longer had the energy.
(Lucy was a competitive swimmer doing between 30,000 / 40,000 metres per week) Extremely fit young lady and a projected A* pupil at school with a very active social life. In the meantime, her Dr had given Lucy lots of blood tests, she had also seen an ENT specialist at the hospital and she was seeing a voice therapist. Her voice returned to a whisper after about six weeks and with further help from the voice therapist it is now back to normal.
Then on 28th of November 2009 Lucy suffered at first what appeared to be a severe fit of some description. Started complaining of extreme heat feeling and started to sweat profusely, heart racing and blood pumping, she then blacked out and had severe trembling of her arm and leg, she was carried out of the building and 999 was called, the paramedics revived her, her blood pressure was very high and her heartbeat was over 150. When they got her to hospital and had stabilized her they said that she had had a panic attack which had led to her hyper-ventilate. However since that moment, Lucy is unable to walk properly and her leg and hand still shake. We have seen a consultant at the hospital who said that he cannot find anything wrong with Lucy and that she had not had a stroke and that he could not find any evidence that she had had a seizure of any kind and promptly discharged her.
This coming from a general consultant, again when asked about any link to the vaccine there was no comment. He agreed with her GP’s analysis that Lucy was suffering from CFS (ME). We have a meeting with Doctors today 8.3.2010 to set up an appointment with a Neurologist.
Lucy now attends school in a wheelchair and is very despondent over her situation.
Lucy’s Update (as described by her father as at 25th March 2010)
We made our visit to Lucy’s GP Dr Burnett two weeks ago now. Lucy has been seeing a different GP up until now a Dr Johnson, whom I must say for the first couple of months seemed very caring and worked tirelessly to try to find an answer. I guess that once he had seen the report on Lucy from Dr Wood who was the General Consultant at George Eliot Hospital he more or less accepted his findings. After the blood tests and examination he discharged her and thought there was no need for any further invasive investigation, although he had not found any answers he preferred to discharge her, I found him very dismissive. I then got the impression that he felt there was nothing left for him to do and his diagnosis of ME was probably the correct one. Certainly the last occasion that my wife Jill visited Dr Johnson with Lucy she got the feeling of “oh what do you want now”!! Subsequently I have contacted several leading hospitals in London with reference to Lucy’s condition and one Dr has expressed an interest but has said that he would like to see Lucy’s medical records which must include a report from a Neurologist.
So I requested Lucy’s medical records in a letter from the GP’s on the 24th of February 2010, quoting that they must include all relevant correspondence and this must be legible and made ready for me within 12 days of receiving my letter. This is in accordance with the statutory agreement from the Secretary of State. Alas I have not received them yet and had to chase them up yesterday. In between times we visited Lucy’s own doctor, Dr Burnett who seemed very focused on Lucy and her thoughts, almost to the exclusion of us. I got the distinct impression that he thought we were coercing Lucy into pursuing this course of action. Having gone through her whole episode he agreed, I feel somewhat reluctantly, to refer her to a Neurologist. We promptly received our Choose and Book appointment sheet but are waiting for Birmingham Children’s hospital to release some appointments. In the interim time we have insisted that we see a Physiotherapist and we have pushed very hard for this, my wife Jill made a real nuisance of herself but was successful in getting an appointment with a great physiotherapist at the George Eliot hospital, who has shown great concern over Lucy’s plight and was very sorry that we had not seen her earlier. WOW !!! How good has she been for Lucy, straight onto crutches and out of the wheelchair at every available moment. Most days at school it is crutches only now, we have taken her out on her crutches and she is far more confident and happy on them rather than being in the wheelchair. Lucy turned 15 on Tuesday and had a great day and was really positive about her future. I cried for hours at night with hope and joy. She is now coming to the end of her 3 month stint of drinking 1.5 litres a day of silica rich Volvic water as per the research Dr Chris Exley is doing at Keele University into Aluminium intolerance I think it can only help and we are very grateful to him.
Leah Mann – Nottinghamshire
Extract from article in the Daily Mail dated 5th April 2009
And it’s not just 12- and 13-year-old girls that may have been affected. Eighteen-year-old Leah Mann, from Nottinghamshire had her first injection in January 2009. Ten days later, when she was at work in a fish and chip shop, she felt unwell and collapsed. When she came to, she had no feeling from the waist down. ‘It was terrifying,’ she says. ‘I went to hospital and while I was waiting to see a doctor the feeling in my right leg came back. But it took two weeks for it to return to my left leg.’ Leah Mann, 18, now has regular seizures and had to give up her college course More worryingly she now suffers full-blown seizures. Although doctors are at a loss to explain why she has developed what appears to be epilepsy, they are more inclined to believe it is associated with the antidepressant medication she had been taking (with no adverse side effects for more than a year) than with the vaccine. ‘I’ve had my driving license taken away and I’ve had to give up my college course,’ she explains. Leah had been studying equine management, but, because of her seizures, the college’s insurance can’t cover her horse riding. She will remain housebound until her specialists find the right medication to control her condition. ‘It is five weeks since we last saw her neurologist, and she has had 30 seizures in that time,’ says her mother, Tracey, 42. Leah adds: ‘Looking back, I felt lucky to have had the injection. But why has my doctor not allowed me to have the second and third doses?’ While GlaxoSmithKline says that ‘Cervarix had to undergo rigorous testing with large numbers of people in numerous studies’ and was ‘found to be generally well tolerated’, questions over the safety and efficacy of Cervarix remain. Dr Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth about Vaccines, says: ‘The HPV vaccines have been introduced at breakneck speed and, in my view, without adequate testing. It is already the most profitable vaccine ever made and the worry is that it is being introduced too rapidly, for the financial gain of its manufacturers and with too little regard for the health of our young women. ‘These parents may never know for certain whether the vaccine caused their daughters’ disabilities.’ ‘I would not encourage my own daughter to have it. At the moment we know far too little to be sure - and we know far too little to roll it out on a national scale.’ However, those who know the devastation that cervical cancer can cause are in no doubt that the benefits outweigh the possible risks. Meanwhile, Robert Music, director of the cervical cancer charity, Jo’s Trust says: ‘Quite simply, the jab could save your daughters’ lives,’ Even among Cervarix’s critics, you will not find anyone who disagrees with this sentiment. But those whose health has deteriorated since they armed themselves against the disease would warn against the blind acceptance of a wonder-jab.
Rosie Weatherhead – Stoneleigh, Surrey
Rosie and Abbie, non identical twins, had their first Cervarix vaccination on 14th October 2008; 2nd vaccination on 1st December 2008 and Abbie only had the third vaccination on 22nd April 2009. To differentiate between the two girls Rosie is the athletic girl and in love with sport, football, swimming, netball, running, rounders, athletics to name a few. Abbie is more laid back and is not competitive in sporting activities, more interested in babies and animals. Rosie had serious side effects after the first and second jabs, whilst Abbie had no reactions at all and completed the course of vaccinations.
Rosie after having the first vaccination came home in tears with groin, knee and site pain, whilst Abbie was fine. At that time we put Rosie’s aches and pains down to a sports injury. At the second vaccination, Abbie again had no reaction but Rosie was now walking funny with same pains as before and unable to take part in any of her beloved sports. Because she was such an active athlete she attempted to still join in at this stage but the knee and joint pain was so intense she could not even take part in the warm up. Rosie struggled to continue going to school, trying to be ‘normal’. She always wanted to attend school to achieve her ‘Gold Certificate for attendance’ and even with a sporting injury she would go to school on crutches if necessary. However, at the beginning of March 2009 Rosie felt so ill and she couldn’t go to school at that stage and that is when I took her to see her GP. Her GP was puzzled and referred her to a paediatrician in local hospital who has in turn sent her to Great Ormond Street Hospital. By the end of that week in early March Rosie couldn’t walk, had no energy not even to talk, eating was too much of an effort, she had a sore throat, in extreme joint pain and extreme fatigue. At this stage I realised that it was the vaccine which was affecting Rosie so badly and did not let her have the third injection. The paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital stated it appeared Rosie had post viral fatigue and that she could have had a virus at time of vaccination and that this has caused the reaction with the vaccine. We are now almost at the year and a half mark and yet Rosie’s condition does not improve. She was not well again in February and had to stay off school and the same occurred again just before Easter. Rosie has been back in school full time and started just before Christmas 2009. Rosie’s sore throat is just not going away and she is being sent to see a specialist at ENT. This illness just keeps changing and certainly not improving very much.
Rosie has had to deal with a lot from once being such an active athlete doing 2/3 sporting activities every day to having not enough energy and being in too much pain to walk upstairs. She had to use a wheelchair during the summer to allow her to get outside but she tries not to have to do this but all of this has led to a mental struggle to come to terms with her condition. Watching her classmates taking part in the sporting activities she loves and moving on within the school environment is heartbreaking for her and for us as she is not able to move forward with them. “I did not realise the side effects could be so devastating otherwise I would not have allowed either of my two girls to have this vaccination”.
Rosie also developed an eye condition following vaccination – she has developed what is called ‘dry eyes’ and has to put drops in every day. Rosie did not have any eye problems prior to this vaccination.
Latest update as at April 2010 is that since last summer Rosie has improved and is able to take part, albeit at a reduced level, in some of her sporting activities. She may have one or two little blips but is much better than she was. That is so welcomed and we hope she continues to improve each and every day until fully recovered.