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"?

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

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”.


flu shot damaged mom said...

My holistic practioner says the same thing about my flu vaccine injury. She calls it adult onset autism. I am so sorry this had to happen to someone else.

Nostrum said...

No, she'd be diagnosed with dystonia, which is not autism. People with CP develop symptoms before they learn social norms, and they don't get diagnosed with autism, either.

Furthermore, it looks like all we really have here is a case where a woman has something horrible and very rare happen to her and blames the only thing that stands out in her mind as being unusual in her routine.

Do we know she doesn't have a genetic condition, a rare disease, or a brain tumor? I think it's a bit soon to say. Looks like there are five reports of dystonia in VAERS - and that's in nearly 20 years of flu shots. So if her dystonia was indeed caused by the vaccine, it's a reaction so rare that it doesn't even occur once every year.

Corina Becker said...

Dystonia doesn't effect social or behavioural development, so no, she would not be diagnosed with autism. In fact, she would otherwise be diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's Syndrome, carpal tunnel or TMD.

You can get any actual description of dystonia here and see how it greatly differs from autism.

Ginger Taylor said...

Not really proposing new medical hypothesis so much as it was really more of a rhetorical question.

Just a bunch of (likely environmentally induced) neurological disorders that are solely diagnosed by their symptoms, but that medicine can't tell us what they actually are.

Better way to phrase the question might be, can one "Action X" take place in the body and depending on various factors (age, health, other existing conditions) result in any number of neurological outcomes and symptom sets.

Did the same initial phenom take place in Deseree and my son but, 10 dominoes knocked over in her, were 20 were in my son? Who knows.

Just frustrated with the state of science that claims to be hard science, but is really just making descriptions of behaviors and guessing at crap, and ignoring inconvenient causation like vaccination, while often displaying god like arrogance.

That make more sense?

Corina Becker said...

"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"?" is not a rhetorical question, and is highly suggestive that you believe a common link between dystonia and your supposed acquired-immune-disorder-misdiagnosed-as-autism. I'm not going to use your method of putting it in quotations, since it gives the casual reader a false impression as to what you're talking about.

Either way, the criteria for Dystonia is the same no matter which age it is diagnosed at and is not anywhere near the autism spectrum. You can take a look at my latest blog post for more information, if you'd like.

Ginger Taylor said...

Well thanks for visiting.

Always nice to have people interested in good faith discussion and kind discussion of medical outliers.

Josh Day said...

Ginger, thanks for reporting this. Once again, the "comments" really show a lot more than your original post.

I wonder if these same comment authors would take the same stance of "COINCIDENCE NOTHING TO SEE HERE" or "GENETIC" if she had ingested a vitamin supplement, or utilized some natural health medium. Or anything out of mainstream so-called evidence based medicine that has had only ONE report of an adverse affect.

Nostrum said...

If she'd ingested some specific herbal remedy, I wouldn't assume it caused this, either. I'd want the evidence investigated. That's why I looked it up to see if this was even something commonly reported in VAERS. Unfortunately there isn't a similar database of adverse herbal reactions.