By Lone Frederiksen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Let me begin my story by saying that my 24 year old daughter Karina was a very active girl prior to receiving the HPV vaccine Gardasil. She loved to swim and would do this at least 5 to 7 times per week and her sessions would last for around two hours. She had to give this up when she started to study at the University. She also biked 3-4 times a week to or from the University which is 17 km from her home and often enough would do this both ways. Karina is studying at the University of Copenhagen for a BSc in Natural Science and Information Technology (IT) with specialization in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Unfortunately since she became sick after vaccination she is now struggling with her exams and she has just completed her BSc course and is very disappointed as her grades are not as good as they would have been if she had not been so sick.
The reason Karina had this vaccination at an older age was because our central government, with effect from 27th August 2012, introduced a temporary vaccination scheme which meant that the HPV vaccine was free for girls born between 1st January 1985 to December 1992. We thought we were doing this in her best interests to prevent her from possibly developing cervical cancer – oh if only we had known that what we believed would protect her, was going to cause her to have such serious health issues. Prior to being vaccinated, Karina was a very healthy young lady – her medical records can testify to that.
Karina had her first shot of Gardasil on 30th August 2012. She had a lot of pain in her arm for about a month but we just took it for granted that this was a common side effect and was harmless. Also about a month later she had a bad week with vomiting and stomach aches. Again we did not connect this to the vaccine.
About two weeks before she should have had the second shot, she had very severe pain in her groin. It got worse and she went to see her doctor to get some help. He took a urine test which showed bacteria and blood and put her on to antibiotics. The next day she got her second shot and an hour after vaccination she was admitted to Hvidovre Hospital with a high temperature which just kept rising. Karina was still having problems in her groin area and some of her lymph nodes were still badly swollen. Her urine was cultured but the results came back negative but blood was still present in this sample and every urine test she had over the next 3-4 months.
The hospital knew that Karina had just had her second vaccination of Gardasil, but the doctors denied that the vaccine had anything to do with this health issue she was experiencing. They put her onto another course of antibiotics even although there were no bacteria found in her blood. Her health just got worse from this point on and her temperature had risen to 40 degrees Celsius. By this time, Karina had also developed a serious rash which the hospital said was a reaction to the antibiotic. I now know a lot more than I did then and we are quite certain that the rash was as a result of her being given antibiotics and the vaccine at the same time. Her body was struggling after getting the second vaccine and then she was given an additional poison to add to her health problems. Then the vomiting started while she was still in hospital and she could not keep anything down and she really was a very sick girl and I was so afraid I was not going to get her home again.
Then new symptoms started to occur, Karina’s left leg started to hurt more and more, her foot kept swelling up and her ankle joints and knee were swollen also and very painful. They scanned her lymph nodes which were the size of chestnuts and this caused the hospital officials a lot of concern as they wondered whether Karina had cancer. So she had to undergo a full body scan with a radioactive liquid and three pelvic examinations but all results were normal for which we are ever so thankful. Again and again we asked if the HPV vaccine could have had something to do with all of Karina’s health problems and like everyone else who asks this question, we got exactly the same answer …’there is no connection with the HPV vaccine’.
It was at Hvidovre Hospital that they carried out a biopsy of her lymph nodes and the result came back negative. The swelling in her groin started to come down but Karina can still feel the glands and knows that the problem has not been resolved.
Karina was then transferred to Glostrup hospital to see if she had any form of rheumatism, again these tests came back negative. So at this time we were no further forward in knowing what was making our daughter so ill.
Then finally in November 2013 we had an official diagnosis – she was diagnosed as having POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Tests were carried out because she was experiencing strong heartbeats as if her heart was trying to get out of her chest. She was very dizzy and had very bad headaches 24 hours a day and in addition was very nauseous and could not keep anything down.
Karina has been very ill and weak since her second vaccination and this is a list of the side effects she has been experiencing and that is why we made the decision not to let her have the third shot of Gardasil, this was our decision, not the doctor’s.
- Swollen glands (neck, armpit, and groin)
- Joint pain
- Headache (24 hour every day)
- Unusual tiredness, weakness
- Tension and pain in neck and back
- Generally feeling unwell
- Leg and arm pains
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Aching muscles
- Abdominal pains, almost every day
- Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
- Pain in her stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- Increased hunger
- Muscle weakness, sudden and progressing
- Hair loss, thinning of hair
- Muscle pain or stiffness
- Difficulty remembering and concentrating; Forgetfulness
As I write this story I see my daughter suffering with extreme pain in her groin and side, at her ankle and knee and in many other parts of her body. I see my lovely daughter who was once such an active girl now falling apart – and is not the same lovely, young girl she was prior to being vaccinated. My girl is starting to lose the meaning of life.
I see a girl trying so hard to keep up with her education and not even knowing if she will be able to work if she is able to complete her course. She is struggling so much and getting bad grades because of her poor levels of concentration and not being able to remember information as she once was able to do. Before Gardasil she was such a happy student and a part of her degree course was to visit Scotland to complete part of her study but unfortunately this could not be accomplished as Karina was just too sick to travel.
Karina’s doctor is not a bad doctor but he just does not know what to do and how to treat my daughter. He has reported her health problems as a reaction to the Gardasil vaccine. But sadly we do not get any additional help on how we can make our daughter well again.
Karina is now at the stage that she does not want to go and see any more doctors, attend hospital appointments, have blood tests taken as she feels no good will come of it, they simply have no idea how to treat her.
She still has extreme pain sometimes, she had a period of 14 days with so much pain but she would not go and see the doctor as she has lost trust in him being able to help her.
We feel that the doctor should have known about some of Karina’s side effects if only he had read the Patient Information Leaflet prepared by the manufacturer.
We also believe that the nurse who does all the vaccinations has not read this leaflet either – we ask ourselves: “Why Not?
Sadly, our medical practice has been informed there are no side effects with the Gardasil vaccine and instead of investigating they accept what they have been told. So as a result of her doctor not being able to help her, Karina’s health issues are not going away and sadly she is not getting any better.
All our daughter wants is to get her health back – in the 21st century that should not be too much to ask for.