By Lupita Carrillo, Mexico
My name is Lupita Carrillo from the state of Sonora, Mexico. My eleven year-old daughter, Valeria, was a very athletic normal girl until she received the second dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, Cervarix on May 29, 2014. One week later she began experiencing new medical conditions. She began to lose strength in her right leg first, then her left leg. It was painful for her to try and walk.
We decided to seek medical attention because I couldn’t stand to see her in such pain and without strength.
Thursday, she was examined by a doctor who thought there could be some issues with her sciatic nerve or something like that. He suggested doing her a magnetic resonance and referred us to a specialist.
The following Wednesday, the specialist sent us to a paediatric neurologist so Valeria could obtain a prescription for Prednisolone.
The next day (Thursday) at 2:00 pm. my daughter was admitted to the hospital. By the following morning she was almost completely paralyzed. She was only able to shake her head. It was obvious more tests were needed. She remained paralyzed for almost five days. More Prednisolone was prescribed, but at a lower dose.
In spite of the fact that her diagnosis up until then had been a Guillain-Barre type reaction potentially caused by the vaccine, the doctors refused to do a lumbar puncture. They discarded all obvious symptoms and claimed her new medical conditions were simply psychiatric disorders.
I believe this ‘diagnosis’ was nothing more than an attempt to avoid performing any diagnostic tests that may have linked Valeria’s new symptoms to the administration of Cervarix. I felt abandoned by the medical system that was supposed to help keep my daughter healthy.
In my desperate search for a cure to Valeria’s condition, I took her to a private doctor who prescribed her periodic shots of human immunoglobulin (which is very expensive and health services refused to give).
My daughter has been in physical therapy for about six months and still does not have an accurate diagnosis. She has trouble regulating her own body temperature, she still has heart palpitations, weakness and tremors in her arms and legs. She lives in constant pain. Due to her tachycardia, the doctors said a Holter monitor was necessary. Another blood analysis in search of heavy metals and an electromyography were done. Both of them showed normal results.
I cannot begin to describe what it is like to watch your daughter live in such agony. For a long time, I felt Mexico’s health services had abandoned us. It has taken nearly a year for them to make a commitment to search for answers in my daughter’s case.
In the meantime, Valeria developed more new symptoms. She is now experiencing visual field loss and Dysautonomia. She is currently under treatment for these conditions. She still suffers from a left hip and leg flaccid paralysis for which the doctors prescribed only Tylenol as a painkiller. She currently needs a cane to walk by herself. She is extremely affected by the cold and there are days when she is not able to be by herself. I feel scared and full of doubts.
All I want is to find answers and a well-timed treatment protocol for the injured girls. Their new illnesses must be recognized and treated. Simply diagnosing them with psychiatric disorders and hiding them under the proverbial carpet is not acceptable.
My daughter and I want to go back to our life before Cervarix. Certainly that is not too much to ask.