Woman Disabled by Flu Shot Reaction
Updated: Wednesday, 14 Oct 2009, 1:30 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 13 Oct 2009, 11:27 PM EDT
* Claudia Coffey Claudia Coffey
* Video By CLAUDIA COFFEY/myfoxdc
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A few weeks ago, Desiree Jennings was training for a half marathon. Now, she's struggling to walk, talk and even eat.
According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror , Jennings, who has been working with the Washington Redskins as an ambassador in hopes of becoming a cheerleader since April, developed severe and possibly life-threatening side effects from getting a seasonal flu vaccine seven weeks ago at a Safeway in Reston.
Twenty-five-year-old Jennings says she was healthy and active and was not in a high-risk group at the time of her shot.
She says she received the vaccine to earn points for her work health plan that gives perks for each level of ‘wellness’ that is attained. It was not until ten days after she received the shot that she began to experience flu-like symptoms.
Her physical therapist at Johns Hopkins Hospital say she is suffering from dystonia, a neurological movement disorder where sustained muscle contractions cause body jerks, and abnormal or repetitive movements.
People who suffer from dystonia often are required to re-learn even the most basic routines.
It is a rare disease and is not completely understood.
“You realize your life is never going to come back the way it was,” Desiree told the Times-Mirror. “My goal in life was to one day be a CEO. Now, I don’t know if I can ever return back to work”.
October 14, 2009
Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador Suffers Neurological Damage from Flu Shot
So if this injury happened when she was 18 months old, before she had learned to talk or learned social norms, would she not be diagnosed with "autism"?