Investigation as mum suffers seizures which started shortly after Covid jab
- Credit: Megan Fathers
Doctors are investigating why a mum-of-two has spent the last year suffering from daily seizures, debilitating migraines and brain fog - which started shortly after she received her first Covid jab.
Megan Fathers, of Lowestoft, said she has been left with "no real quality of life" after her symptoms began in March 2021.
Ms Fathers, 25, who is pro-vaccination, received her first dose of Astra Zeneca in March of last year, with her asthma meaning she received her jabs earlier than others in her age group.
The same day she suffered a serious migraine and ever since she has had to cope with daily seizures, spasms and brain fog and is awaiting investigation from the neurological department at the James Paget University Hospital, having been referred by her GP and private doctors.
It has not been medically confirmed that her symptoms were a direct result of her vaccine, but it was within an hour of her jab that she began to have her first migraine.
Ms Fathers says her condition meant she had to give up her job at Aviva and her driving licence - and has left her unable to be alone with her two children, three-year-old Jemima and two-year-old Reggie
Now, she has decided to share her experiences on social media, dedicating an Instagram page to telling the story of her struggles.
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She said: "I would never be anti-vaccine, I am immunised, so are my children and I wouldn't have it any other way. Having my first Covid jab felt like the first step towards freedom.
"But I now have no real quality of life. I have absence seizures near enough every day and sometimes have multiple clonic seizures. I have limited mobility and can not have a bath if I am alone in the house."
Ms Fathers said she wanted to share her story so others going through similar experiences know they are not alone - but acknowledged how rare it was.
She added: "To begin with I was a bit frightened about speaking out, because I know just how many opinions there on both sides of the debate around vaccines.
"I recently had a message telling me I should not have had children because I was 'stupid enough' to have the vaccine, which was awful.
"Since I set up my page I have heard from some people who have suffered the same, but I'm only one of three I've heard of in Norfolk - one in Norwich and one in Gorleston - so such a small number in such a big place does make it feel rare."
Ms Fathers is now finds herself regularly taking anti-seizure and pain medication and has been undergoing hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
But she said the experience put her off getting her second dose - despite receiving eight letters reminding her in the space of a month.
Safety information published on the government's website around the Astra Zeneca jab does warn of some of the symptoms Ms Fathers has suffered, including nerve inflammation leading to paralysis and blood disorders which could result in fits.
However, these possible side effects are listed as being very rare.
A spokesman for the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the region's vaccine roll-out, said: “The Norfolk and Waveney health and care system continues to deliver a fantastic Covid-19 vaccination programme for everyone. We thank our staff and colleagues who have worked tirelessly over the last two years.
“We are unable to comment on individual cases, but we know that vaccines remain our best defence against serious illness and hospitalisation from Covid-19."
People who suspect they have suffered side effects from Covid vaccinations can report them via the website of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
According to the most recent statistics available, 245,206 reports of some form of side effect to the Astra Zeneca vaccine have been reported through this means. However, reports being made do not necessarily mean the vaccine is confirmed to have caused the ill effects.
It is estimated that around 25 million doses of Astra Zeneca have been administered in the UK alone, meaning less than one percent have resulted in a report being made through the MHRA.