Our Family’s Roller Coaster Ride: Courtesy of Gardasil

By Roxie Fiste

Imagine for a moment having a daughter with everything going for her. She’s bright, outgoing, athletic, kind and compassionate. She excels at everything she tries. No parent could ask for more. All parental bias aside, this was our daughter Brittney before Gardasil.



When Brittney received her first Gardasil injection in June of 2007, we were told that the only real risk involved was the possibility of her fainting shortly after the shot was administered. She didn’t react within the 15-minute window during which the medical staff monitored her, so we thought we had nothing to worry about.

When she passed out the next morning on our family room floor and got up wondering what had happened, Britt chalked it up to the possibility of being dehydrated. This had happened to her once several years before, so she didn’t think much of it. She was so unconcerned she didn’t even mention the incident until over a week later. By this time, she had experienced two other unusual episodes.

The first occurred eight days after her HPV vaccine injection. She had what we now know was a partial seizure. Three days later, her legs gave out while she was at a water park. Hammering pain spread up and down her legs for 15 minutes, then disappeared. As a parent, I was beginning to think the incidents were related, but was not sure how to connect the dots. I began to keep a diary of the unusual things Britt was experiencing.

Sometime late June, or early July, our doctor reassured us that what Brittney was experiencing had nothing to do with Gardasil. We were relieved – at least we could relax on that score.

In late July, we took Britt to Myrtle Beach for a belated 21st birthday celebration. During this week, Brittney began to lose control of her emotions off and on. She would be completely normal, then suddenly explode. She would scream at us that we were trying to upset her, or prevent her from living her life. She had never acted this way. Both my husband and I were shocked at her unprovoked outbursts. We spent the entire vacation walking on eggshells when she was present. It seemed the most innocent remark could set her off. The only thing that seemed to soothe her during that week was going to the ocean and walking the beaches.

In August, she had another ‘episode’ as the doctor called them, this time in the company of several college chums. One of them had a sister who experienced many seizures while growing up. She told Britt’s boyfriend at the time that it looked like Britt was having a partial seizure.

Unfortunately, the boyfriend would not accept this reality and shoved an inhaler in her mouth while she was unconscious and depressed it. Britt came around quickly, choking on the aerosol. She told me about the incident, but since her boyfriend kept telling me it was an asthma attack, I was confused. She also mentioned the incident to her doctor, but nothing was investigated at this point.

In late August 2007, Britt received her second injection of Gardasil – again with no reaction during the 15 minutes of post-vaccination observation. But, within a week she began to have nagging issues with head pressure, like a cap with too tight of a band around her head. Over the next couple of weeks this progressed to the point where she could barely open her mouth because the muscles in her jaw were so tight. She began falling down for no reason. Over the next three weeks, she began to experience blurred and/or double vision. She was extremely sensitive to light of any type. The pressure in her head was so intense, she was passing out daily. She developed a swelling that appeared to be filled with fluid at the base of her skull. Swelling began along her spine as well.  With all of the other symptoms severe pain was raging through her body. As soon as her doctor examined the swelling, she was sent straight to the hospital.

Many tests were done, but nothing showed up on any of them. Britt was sent home with a couple of pain tablets. The resident on call felt she had some sort of brain virus and that it would go away in a couple of days.

From this point on, Brittney’s health deteriorated quickly. She couldn’t read anymore because the words seemed to jumble up or run off the pages. She could no longer tolerate light or sound of any kind. Her brain wouldn’t process thoughts normally. We had to speak in whispers when near her or go up to the third floor and speak very softly. Her hearing was so sensitive that she could hear sirens over two miles away and conversations several rooms away. She couldn’t sit in the same room with a television or radio on. Her pain was so bad, she cried all of the time. We bought noise cancelling headphones so she could tolerate trips to the doctor’s office. She had to have wrap around dark glasses – regular sunglasses were not sufficient to protect her from the severe sensitivity to light.  Her nervous system became so sensitive she felt every little bump in the road magnified 100 fold while riding in the car.

Her face would droop to one side like it was sliding off her skull. Seizures and stroking migraines began to happen 24/7. Her stomach was upset all the time. She could hardly keep anything down. She lost sensation in her legs, became completely bedridden and simply longed to die.

Over the next three years, Britt was seen by over 60 doctors, including Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Cincinnati Hospital. None of them could help her. She was so sick to her stomach, she could eat nothing but three ounces of protein drink at a time, sometimes with a little pudding. Not one doctor suggested we have her stomach looked at. They simply dismissed it as being stressed, over-reacting to life, or conversion disorder.

Just to give you an idea of what our new life is like, I will briefly touch on a few events:

  • December to May 2008 – Britt was totally bedridden and seemed to be wasting away. I was feeding her with a baby spoon just to keep her alive.
  • Spring 2009 – We found an alternative chiropractor who recommended Okra Pepsin3 and Multizyme supplements to help settle the lining of Britt’s gastro-intestinal tract. After several months, Britt was able to eat many organic and natural foods for the first time since her second Gardasil injection. At the same time her physical health declined until she was bed-ridden again.
  • 2010, Spring – We started working with an alternative researcher who was willing to try to help with some of Britt’s other issues. He suggested CoQ10, vitamin K Complex, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements. Britt’s sensitivity to light and sound diminished and some of her pain was alleviated. She had a boost of energy for the first time in three years. Her seizure activity nearly disappeared.
  • October 2010 to January 2011 – Brittney seemed to improve. The Researcher made more modifications to her diet that seemed to mitigate some of her more severe symptoms.
  • January 2011 – She was exposed to a virus. Her immune system could not handle it. She physically crashed, bed-ridden once again.
  • March 2011 – Britt’s grandmother sent over what we thought was homemade chicken and dumplings. Brittney gained 60 pounds over the next 24 hours due to citric acid being in the broth.  Seizure activity picked up again as well.
  • May to June 2011 – Her symptoms calmed down a bit, but she was still struggling with nausea and vomiting. Her abdomen and stomach swelled to the point where she looked like she was six months pregnant.
  • 2011 June/July – We finally found a gastroenterologist who was willing to examine Britt’s stomach. She was horrified at what she found – Gastroparesis, a damaged Vagus nerve in Britt’s stomach which prevented normal digestion and emptying of her stomach.

Last summer, 2012, we started taking Britt to another alternative medical doctor.  She is now on weekly Basic Vitamin/Mineral IV therapy, plus hormone neutralizing drops, which have made a positive difference – she now has an immune system!

It has been a long haul, but gradually Britt is getting back some semblance of the life she had before Gardasil. After months of treatments, she has been able to handle larger crowds at the theater, at a very busy restaurant, and even a mall full of people. She still has a long way to go, but her strength is growing daily. She is now able to play her favorite music with the speakers up without suffering. She only has to wear sunglasses when she is actually outside. She is walking short distances on her own, despite the lack of feeling in her legs.

Nearly six years ago Gardasil changed our lives forever. I think perhaps Debra Ginsberg came close to explaining our new life when she said:

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”

Gardasil may be the right choice for some young girls and women, but for us, it has done little except put us on what seems like a never-ending roller coaster ride. Perhaps someday the ride will end so we can resume our normal lives.

French version here.

As posted on Le Café Politique De Camus De Café here.

Roxie’s story on Examiner.com here.


  1. Please tell these people to get their child to a Lyme literate doctor. They can contact us on Facebook. Vaccines are known to bring down our immune systems so that we can no longer fight bacteria. It’s important that they see a Lyme literate doctor. Please have this family contact us immediately.

    • My thoughts exactly…don’t wait !

    • Petsy,
      Britt has been tested multiple times at some major hospitals for Lyme – all negative! Is there a specific test that would indicate better than these hospitals could do?

      • My name is Eva and I am just a girl in Canada that saw your video. I myself didn’t get the vaccination. I am a very natural and healthy person and encourage everyone to make choices and be educated.

        Thru my research and reading this year I have found a really amazing plant her on planet earth. Its called MORINGA

        It has been called:

        The miracle plant!!!!
        The manifestation of a prayer!!!!
        The gift to humans!!!!
        The perfect food for us on land!!!!!

        I don’t sell this stuff or promote it as a business. I just feel in my deep down heart that this is the solution to many human body unbalances. My brother is autistic, which i think was partly from his shots as a child back in 1980’s.

        I would like to encourage you to watch some videos on Moringa.
        I order the 1.1lb moringa powder from ebay and it is only $25. very affordable.

        I have only been taking it for 2 months but really notice a difference in everything….hair nails mood power etc etc.

        This is what you body needs. Natural, mother natures goodness. Please consider taking this 2 times a day in your smoothy or the pills are easier if you can’t keep down a smoothy.

        I send you love and light for healing energy. I hope you read this and find the strength to try something new. I feel it will help you heal 🙂

      • Ro…. I’ve been going back and seeing where I put comments. Your message never came to me. The testing is unreliable. Lyme is a clinical diagnosis. You need a good Lyme literate doctor. Hope your daughter is doing well now.

  2. My daughter had all three of the injections, and suffered through the seizures, hallucinations, way too-many bad diagnoses, and more. Luckily, she found a dietician (and Dr. Google) who provided dietary changes for her. She’s since gotten married, her driver’s license, and a wonderful little boy. I hope we’ve passed over our ordeal.

    • Could you please tell me what type of dietary modifications your daughter used to get better? She is gluten-free, Cassein-free, sugar-free (except for using Stevia) She is on an organic diet as well. Fresh fruits a d veggies. Thanks!

  3. Heartbreaking journey. I am wishing you and your family that this year will be filled with renewed health, hope, and strength.

  4. Sandy Lunoe says:

    Blessings to Brittney and to the many others who are suffering deeply after Gardasil. Prayers for a complete recovery.
    Thank you Brittney’s mother Roxie for sharing her story. Despite all your worries and suffering you use your time and energy to tell her story to warn others about the dangers of this terrible vaccine. You are helping very many others, bless your heart.

  5. So insane. Good to hear Britt is on the mend.
    So, I’m curious as to how the gasterenterentologist fixed the damaged vagus nerve? Did it resolve on its own or was there specific treatment?

    • The Gastroparesis is damage to the vagus nerve in the stomach. Britt is unable to take medications to manage this injury due to reactions to most medications. We have her on supplements that help with digestion. The doctor was horrified when she found this damage as Britt had no previous existing conditions that could have caused it.. She wrote in her notes that Gardasil is the only factor that is causal to this condition.

      • Dalia SUarez says:

        My daughter 11yr old and teenage 16yr old son sadly got the vaccine Feb 18-13
        I didn’t have a clue about these side effects, my kids were not schedule for vaccines only yearly check up, my kids started Friday March15-13 with a treatment of vitamins and detox with a naturopath Dr, my kids are having stomach pain that seems worst don’t know what to do pediatric GI earliest appt . is a month from now. I read about your daughters diet , I;m going to avoid dairy in their diet I noticed they have more pain and flatulence when they have dairy.
        Thank you

        • John Marcos says:

          My daughter got her 3rd vaccine on January 31st this year and has had stomach pain and nausea since then. She has been seen by Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Pediatric Gastroenterology. The doctor is now AGREEING with my suspicion of Gardasil as the culprit. If you are near Baltimore you may want to contact them. The doctor has recommended some medications to help with the stomach including Erythromycin. I also have my daughter on a daily Multi B vitamin suplement plus an extra B-12 + Vitamin C supplement ; I have her staying hydrated and drinking Kefir and Naked Juice’s “Green Machine”. She is also avoiding dairy. So far she does seem better but it is early.

  6. My daughter received her second dose of Gardasil two days ago and woke up with a 101 fever that night. Yesterday it was up to102, with headache and stomache ache. Because of this I started to research Gardasil and am horrified with what I am finding and very very worried about my daughter. Does anyone recommend I do anything now? Her fever is gone now, but I am worried about all I have been reading.

    • Sandy, if you can find a naturopathic doctor in your area to help your daughter detox the poisons in Gardasil will be very helpful!
      Getting her off of tap water and drinking reverse osmosis water or Smart water has helped our daughter. Avoiding high refined sugars, artificial sweetners is important right now as well. God bless your child and you – we will be praying. Also, have the administering doctor report her to the
      VAERS system (vaccine adverse event system), she has had a reaction. If doctor is reluctant push him/her to make that report!

  7. No way would I inject this poison into my body. Since cancer doesnt run in my family and I’ve a .65% of getting cervical cancer. I’ll take my chances with the cancer. And since I wouldn’t inject myself with this poison, I certainly wouldn’t give my daughters this vile toxin.


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