An American mother of two became blind and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly after getting a mandatory flu shot.
Jennifer Whitney, aged 34, claims she was forced to have the vaccine due to the insistence of her boss who disregarded her concerns over the safety of the jab. The same boss, upon hearing of her adverse reaction to the flu shot, then fired her for taking too much time off work to cope with her new illnesses.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Tests revealed she had developed multiple sclerosis, which has no cure, and she was left blind for ten months as well as unable to have another child.
The mother-of-two’s naturopath claimed it was all down to her flu vaccine – despite an array of evidence claiming the shot is completely safe.
Ms Whitney’s case comes amid warnings of the worst flu outbreak in 50 years, which has prompted officials to urge the population to get vaccinated.
However, celebrities including Katie Hopkins and DJ Calvin Harris have fueled anti-vaccination theories by claiming it isn’t ineffective and a ‘neurotoxin’ shot.
But Ms Whitney, who may never recover after her brain was allegedly attacked by her own immune system during a two-year battle, is adamant the vaccines are unsafe.
She told MailOnline: ‘Some people tell me that I must be imagining it because they believe vaccines are safe, but that’s not the case.
‘I’m not imagining all these symptoms and I’m certainly not imagining how well I used to be. Whether I’ll ever be that well again, I don’t know.’
Mrs Whitney was working as a manager of an optician’s when she was told she had to have the vaccine in 2015.
She wasn’t keen as she’d heard about people having bad reactions to vaccinations, but her boss wouldn’t take no for an answer.
‘As the manager, I felt pressurised into setting an example to the other employees,’ she said. ‘My boss encouraged everyone to get it.
‘I didn’t want to cause any arguments, so I went to the pharmacy in my lunch-hour and received my flu shot. Then I went back to work.’
Then, just days later, Mrs Whitney had a bad headache. The pain was accompanied by extreme dizziness.
Eventually, the headache subsided but days later, while she was at work, it returned with a vengeance.
This time, the dizziness was debilitating, preventing her seeing straight or working. That afternoon, she was sent home from work early.
‘I just about managed to drive home, but had to call my husband from the car to come and help me,’ Mrs Whitney said.
‘I was so weak, I couldn’t walk, so my husband had to carry me to our apartment. Once inside, he lay me down on the sofa.
‘Little did I know I’d be spending the next few weeks in that exact same spot.’
The next day, her symptoms hadn’t improved so her husband drove her to their doctor, who told her she was suffering from benign vertigo and that she should be fine in a day or so.
Mrs Whitney was baffled that the doctor couldn’t see how ill she was.
‘It was so bad,’ she said. ‘I even vomited in the sink in the surgery as he examined me. Yet he just sent me home with some medicine and some platitudes.’
She knew that what she was experiencing was more than just vertigo, so she went to see a chiropractor.
After a few minutes of treatment there though, the dizziness intensified, the nausea worsened and her head pain became unbearable.
The following day, she went to see another doctor who, after a quick examination had her rushed to hospital for an MRI scan.
‘The MRI was pretty awful as I was still spinning and my head was hurting,’ said Mrs Whitney. ‘But I got through it. Then came the bombshell.’
She was told she had developed multiple sclerosis.
The doctor explained how her immune system was attacking her brain and nervous system, which meant she needed immediate treatment.
In the emergency room, she was given high-dose steroid infusions, designed to knock out her immune system.
While she was being dosed up, a neurologist explained her MRI results, explaining that there were several dozen lesions in her brain, that it was clear she’d somehow developed multiple sclerosis and that there was no cure.
‘I was so shocked,’ she said. ‘I’m a really healthy person and had never been off sick from work.
‘To have suddenly developed a serious, untreatable and incurable illness practically overnight was hard for me to comprehend.’
Within two weeks, Mrs Whitney was unable to stand and walk without assistance, but then she had another relapse.
These relapses started to occur about every six weeks.
Side effects of steroids
It wasn’t just the relapses that were disabling her though – the side-effects of the steroid infusions were adding to her problems.
And things became even worse when she started taking her MS medication.
‘I had a really bad reaction to the medication (Gilleniya) I was prescribed,’ recalled Mrs Whitney.
‘My skin broke out in blisters all over my body. I reported this to my neurologist, who called me back in for tests for lupus which is a rare side-effect of Gilleniya.’
The blood tests revealed that she did not have lupus but her neurologist decided to take her off the medication anyway.
It would be a while before she could be recommended another.
After stopping the medication, she had another relapse.
Her hair started to fall out and her skin was damaged and her arm had become infected from the intravenous steroids.
Not only that, but the infection had allegedly caused a life-threatening blood clot.
Fortunately, this was treated successfully with antibiotics, but she decided at that point not to have any more steroid infusions.
Unable to work
Throughout this whole experience, Mrs Whitney was still struggling into work every day.
But one morning, while she was trying to fix some glasses, her hands started shaking and wouldn’t stop.
The shaking got so bad, her boss sent her home. A week later, he called her.
‘He told me he needed to “let me go”, that he felt awful about it, but that he needed a manager and I was taking too much time off.’
Did the shot affect her vision?
Shortly after the call, she claims she developed a searing pain in both eyes.
Mrs Whitney immediately got in touch with her neurologist, who told her it was unlikely to be anything serious.
In desperation, she called her old boss – a qualified eye doctor – who told her that she could have optic neuritis and that the only way to stop it would be by taking more steroids, something she knew she couldn’t do.
‘Over the next couple of days, I went totally blind in my right eye,’ said Mrs Whitney. ‘I also went partially blind in my left eye.
My right eye remained blind for an entire month and my left eye was partially blind for about ten months. After that time, my vision started to improve again.’
Her concerns over the vaccine
Once she’d regained her sight, Mrs Whitney started looking into the flu vaccine.
She discovered that the flu shot was incredibly dangerous and that it was one of the vaccines most compensated for injury in ‘vaccine court’.
Experts are scared of talking
On the advice of a friend, Mrs Whitney visited a naturopath – who allegedly declined to comment because he was scared of being killed for talking to the press.
‘He examined me and said that it was highly likely that the flu shot had caused my conditions, both the MS, the temporary blindness and the drug hypersensitivity,’ she said.
‘He also said that it was very common for the flu shot to cause neurological damage and, consequently, autoimmune disease.’
The naturopath gave her several blood tests and discovered that the steroid infusions had destroyed her white blood cells.
It also damaged her liver so badly she needed to immediately treat it with weekly vitamin infusions and bee venom therapy, as well as supplements and dietary changes.
‘He also told me that I was now infertile. I’m just glad I had my children when I did,’ added Mrs Whitney, whose daughters are now 10 and 14.
‘My husband and I were hoping the diagnosis of infertility is wrong and have been trying for a baby but, to date, nothing’s happened.
‘I didn’t have any problem getting pregnant before and we’re both sure it’s not happening because of the jab.’
Still suffering two years later…
Two years on and Mrs Whitney is still suffering – with debilitating headaches, whole body pain, muscle spasms, numbness in her hands and feet and chronic fatigue.
She also suffers from unsteady walking, vertigo, anxiety, depression, loss of bladder control, bowel issues, skin problems and drug hypersensitivity.
Mrs Whitney also experiences intermittent blindness in one or both eyes.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said: ‘The UK flu vaccination programme has an excellent safety record and protects millions of children and adults against flu and prevents its spread to the most vulnerable in the community.
‘Over 10 million doses have been given to adults each year in the UK since 2000.’
An MHRA spokesperson said: ‘Every year, millions of people in the UK are vaccinated against flu and an illness occurring after vaccination does not necessarily mean the vaccine was the cause.
‘MS is a condition that occurs naturally. Several large studies have found no evidence of an association between vaccination, including flu vaccines, and development of MS.
‘As with all vaccines and medicines, MHRA keeps the safety of influenza vaccines under close and continual review.’