Savanna, Ohio: Savanna was only 12 years old when her mother took her in for her regular check-up in November 2008. The doctor suggested Gardasil, and they both refused. Her mother had heard nothing negative about Gardasil, but cancer did not run in their family and Savanna was not sexually active; she saw no need for an extra jab for Savanna.
The doctor was not happy about their decision and spent the next fifteen minutes telling Savanna’s mom how terrible she would feel if Savanna contracted an HPV infection and/or cervical cancer when she could have been saved by a simple series of vaccinations.
Although still not comfortable with the limited knowledge they had at the time, Savanna and her mom decided to follow their doctor’s
advice. Today, they would give anything in the world to take back that decision.
Savanna received three booster shots, a Gardasil injection and a dose of FluMist that day.
For the next few days, Savanna was feeling a little under the weather and had a high fever. Her mother thought that was to be expected
considering how many shots she had taken.
A week later, they were back in the doctor’s office because Savanna had a huge knot on her arm along with site pain. She was just generally
not feeling ‘right.’
Mom asked the intern if the knot was in the same arm as the Gardasil shot. The intern looked at her chart and said she believed so. But when the
doctor entered, she emphatically stated the Gardasil injection had been in the other arm. She and the intern then left the room for a ‘conference.’
While they were out, Savanna got teary-eyed and confessed to her mother that it felt like bugs were crawling under her skin. She was frightened, and
rightfully so. Mom had no idea what to tell her.
Savanna never received a second injection of Gardasil.
Over the next few weeks, she became worse. This young girl who loved going to school, would feel sick enough to text her mom from the bedroom
to say she couldn’t make it to classes, up to twice a week. The symptoms hit hard, fast, and without warning.
This young fan of horror movies, became too scared to watch them any more because they reminded her of the ‘bugs’ crawling under her
Summer arrived and she started passing out. Up until then, everyone thought she was going to be all right. Now, they were not so sure.
then, Savanna’s list of symptoms has expanded to include vision problems, twitching, numbness, memory loss, trouble concentrating, confusion, brain fog (can’t find the right words), trouble breathing, sleep paralysis (can’t move upon first waking), hair loss, etc…
Savanna may not be able to always find the right words any more, but her mother can. She spends almost every waking moment trying to warn
people. Her mission is to make sure no one else has to watch their child go through the traumatic, life-changing events her daughter has.
Written by: Norma Erickson, Vaccines