Swine flu vaccine 2009 Vaccine damaged nurses

Letter: Swine Flu reaction

Vaccine Risk Awareness Network (VRAN) Newsletter Autumn 2010

Posted by Charlie Cahill on June 11, 2010 at 11:24 am


I am a 59 year old male living in Edmonton, Alberta. For the past forty years I was extremely healthy and active playing hockey and working in an office/construction type job. In November 2009, I received my first ever flu shot and H1N1 flu shot. About 1 week later I tried to get up from my office desk and my leg muscles wouldn’t work. It was like someone flipped a switch and they were turned off. With some effort I was able to stand and walk around but the muscles just above the knee were working at about 5% capacity. Over Christmas, the muscle weakness/paralysis moved upwards into my arms and it became extremely difficult to lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee.

At this same time I went to see my GP about the problem and he sent me for a battery of blood tests, x-rays, etc. and he then referred me to a neurologist. At the end of January 2010, the neurologist examined me for about 15 minutes in his office and told me he’s 99% certain that I have Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). The next day I had an electromyography (EMG) and a second neurologist positively diagnosed GBS.

I had a medical for my life insurance in October 2009 and was 100% healthy at that time. The only thing different in my life was getting the swine flu and regular flu shot about 1 week before the muscle weakness occurred.

Over the past 6 months, the weakness has progressed to the point that I am off work and bed-ridden 23 hours a day. I have had 3 IVIG treatments each lasting 5 days and my neurologist has me on a cocktail of immunosuppressant and steroid drugs (Immuron, Pantoprazole and Prednisone). He believes that I may be able to go back to work in 1-2 years, but everyone responds differently to treatment and it is difficult to make an accurate prognosis.

Financially, it is a disaster because I expected to work another 6 or 7 years at which time our mortgage would be paid off and we would be on OAS. Both our daughters are in University and we have everyday household expenses to deal with. We have already gone through quite a bit of our savings but it is hard to know when I will be able to get back to work. Fortunately, my wife is at home and cooks my meals and is a main caregiver. Otherwise, I would probably have to be hospitalized for several months.

It is very frustrating that the Government of Canada promotes and endorses the idea that every Canadian should get a swine flu shot, even people in my age group who are considered low-risk for swine flu, but high-risk for contracting illnesses like GBS-CIDP. It is also frustrating that there is no safety net or financial support to deal with patients who experience serious adverse effects like myself.

Thank you for your website and for giving me the opportunity to express my views.

Charlie in Edmonton