This is Chantal’s story. Her most recent updates are at the bottom of the post.
“Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender. That is strength”
This is my story…
My name is Chantal, I’m a 37 year old Police Officer from Western Australia and I had a severe reaction after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
To the people who threatened me with defamation charges and disciplinary action for telling my story, I am disappointed. I’m disappointed that your priority is to silence me for your own ego and agenda rather than ask if I’m ok and offer me any help! At no time have you asked if I’m ok or cared for a second about my health or welfare. You decided that putting me under more stress, when that stress can cause further risk to my life is your priority. It makes me question humanity and how any person can have such a lack of empathy towards another.
If defamation and disciplinary action is what you deem suitable than I’m not afraid. I’ve done nothing wrong, I did what you wanted and look what happened. No one has the right to take away anyone else’s experiences or tell them how they should feel. Please believe me when I say, there is nothing that you can do to me that will even compare to what I am currently experiencing. Treating someone in this way is never ok and if people can take any lesson away from this then please stand up for yourself. Set standards as to how you should be treated and don’t ever be silent if someone is treating you poorly regardless of their relationship to you.
To all the people who have told me that my experience isn’t real and that this could never be true. Before you tell anyone that they are a liar or voice your opinion, ask yourself two things. Firstly. Do I have all the information to voice my opinion and challenge the experience of another and secondly, am I qualified in voicing this opinion.
In August, my employer announced that anyone who was not vaccinated against COVID would be treated differently by having to wear masks at all times in the workplace; excluded from buildings and moved out of their positions that they have worked hard for into office type roles if they are not vaccinated. (confirmed by an industrial relations staff member). This announcement is no secret to the community as it was published on the front page of the West Australian newspaper.
Prior to this announcement, I had decided I was not getting the vaccine. I am entitled to my choice. Please note that I am not an anti-vaxer as some may call it, but I make decisions based around having sufficient information available to me which I believed and still believe I do not have. My reasons for not getting the vaccine should not be anyone else’s business but for the purposes of this post I am including it. For me, there are insufficient studies on long term health issues and the vaccine didn’t meet the usual safety checks which makes me uncomfortable. I had never had a flu vaccine in my life and I had not had a flu since 2009. I believe in good nutrition and always use nutrition to cure ailments wherever possible. I created a company based on this premise and I am very successful. I had also had a reaction to an unknown allergy and wanted to wait to speak to an immunologist prior to making a definite decision. However, this appointment was two months off. I felt as though I didn’t really have a choice. I was worried that I would be moved out of my position which is seen as a privileged role.
The morning of my appointment, I was really scared about getting the vaccine as I knew it wasn’t right for me. I spoke to the doctor about my concerns and she was willing to write me a letter to delay it but asked me what would that mean for my job. I didn’t know and it worried me. That day she had spoken to a lot of people from my job and she said that a lot of them felt threatened and put into a position to make a choice that they didn’t want to and whilst in the waiting room, my colleagues told me the same thing. The doctor told me that she was concerned about giving the vaccine to people who weren’t doing it freely by their own choice. Sadly, I joked with the doctor saying “I’ll be the one the vaccine kills.” Sadly, it could have.
Within 10 minutes of getting the Pfizer vaccine, I got vertigo and nausea and within 15 minutes I had hives all over me. The doctor and ambulance officer got the rash under control but as soon as I got home I had a fever, chills and felt very unwell. For the following 3.5 weeks I suffered rashes every day, fevers as high as 39.7, aching muscles, flu like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pressure in my sinuses and a cough so bad that it felt like my blood vessels were going to explode in my face. Some days I cried because I thought I was going to die. I was so sick. When I thought I was starting to get better, I still had extreme fatigue and was constantly light headed. I went back to work but spent a lot of time laying on my office floor and struggling to get through the day.
On a Tuesday night, I noticed that my eyes felt weird. They had a heavy feeling and felt like they needed rubbing all the time. The next morning I woke up to go to work and one eye wouldn’t open and the other wouldn’t close. The one that wouldn’t close also wouldn’t blink. I thought that I had allergies so I took an antihistamine and drove one hour to work. By 9:00am, I felt my top lip go a bit funny and my work colleague told me that my face was drooping sideways and she was taking me to emergency. I will be forever grateful for her making me go as she saved my life.
Within 1 minute of being at emergency, everyone was rushing around me and I started to panic. Next second I’m getting wired up to machines and a stroke specialist and multiple other doctors and nurses were in my cubicle. I was admitted to hospital.
The next morning, I got up and had a shower but instead I ended up having a stroke. I was in the shower by myself and my body started waving uncontrollably and the right side of my body got a weird sensation. I could no longer stand and I was on the floor scared. My right side got really heavy and felt numb with a weird pins and needles type of sensation. At this stage the left side of my face was fully paralysed and I had extreme muscle weakness in my left arm and leg.
I was taken for more tests which showed that the main artery to my brain had a rupture and I had suffered a mini stroke (TIA). I was transferred to the stroke ward at a different hospital that day and from that moment on, I was monitored hourly.
I can’t tell you how scary it was being in a stroke ward with all elderly patients thinking what the hell am I doing here. I was tested for every illness and nutrient deficiency that could cause a stroke and the doctor said I was perfectly healthy and had no possible cause to what had happened to me.
While in hospital, I was monitored hourly. It was crazy. No sleep, and I was constantly scared that it would happen again. I couldn’t eat or drink properly and dribbled everything down the side of my face. It was humiliating. This was a minor issue for the doctors but for a 37 year old girl, it was a big deal. I was told that there was a 25% chance it wouldn’t heal and if it did, it would take months. This by itself was highly distressing.
I cried multiple times a day. It was mentally hard to get through every moment. I was not allowed to move at first but the nurses let me have bathroom privileges because going to the bathroom in a tray was too upsetting for me. If I moved too much or too fast I could have another stroke.
I was unable to have any treatment as the doctors deemed it too unsafe so the only thing that the doctors and I could do was wait and hope that my artery will heal itself. This will take a long time and in the mean time, my usual activities are on hold.
When I was discharged from the hospital, I was really happy as I couldn’t stand being locked up in the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, my nurses and doctors were amazing and I can’t say one thing wrong about their efforts and caring nature. However, it was so scary being home without the constant care. I wasn’t allowed to be left alone and the risk of having another stroke was and still is very high. I was in constant fear and even though my confidence is increasing, I still worry every second. I am further away from instant care and the risk of permanent brain damage is very real. I now also suffer constant nose bleeds and painful joints.
I was booked in for an appointment at the vaccine safety clinic. Sadly, there were about twenty other women the same age as me sitting around waiting. I didn’t really understand what the appointment was about until I was taken into a private room with a doctor who tried to tell me that the vaccine had nothing to do with what had happened to me but then also couldn’t tell me that it didn’t. He sat in his chair stating that it was worth the risk of having another stroke to get my second Pfizer shot. How can a doctor sit there and tell someone those things. He was willing to risk my life to meet what I believe his goal to be of getting as many people vaccinated as possible. He didn’t care about my safety and even asked after I refused the vaccine if I wanted him to call me back in three months time to see if I changed my mind. There was no respect for my decision.
The mental side of this is very hard and has required a lot of strength. I am a very active and busy person and to go from that to only being aloud to walk around the house is highly distressing. I have to be very aware of my mental health and I can’t thank my partner and friends enough for dropping everything to help and support me. I am very lucky.
I don’t want anything from telling my story accept the acknowledgement that no vaccine or medical procedure is safe for everyone. This is not my opinion, this is fact and the COVID vaccine is no exception. No one has the right to tell someone else that they have to put something in their body as they don’t know the risks to that person. It is causing a sad division in our society and not making anyone happy. If you choose to have the vaccine then great and if you don’t then that is ok too. Please be kind to each other and treat each other fairly and equally, we all deserve it.
* Photo was me in hospital showing left side facial paralysis.
OCTOBER 29TH, 2021 UPDATE:
“I hope if I have a stroke that I recover this well. I’ve known people of similar age whose face was paralysed and never returned to normal and another who has permanent brain injuries. Chantal is out driving a car and posting on social media soon after. Looking great with the hair and make up. All power to her.” (David Geisler)
I thank you David and everyone else for your smug messages and observations and let me tell you, you are not incorrect in the vast variety of symptoms that each individual faces when having a stroke. I’m not writing this post to justify myself to you or anyone else but you have merely given me the opportunity to tell a different side of my story.
I spent some time in the stroke ward at Sir Charles Gardner hospital and every person I met and saw had different health issues as a result. The man next to me was paralysed down his right side, a man across from me had left sided facial paralysis, the lady opposite had mental confusion and her arm spasmed uncontrollably and I had left sided facial paralysis and a ruptured main artery to my brain. Every day I shared all these people’s frustration and triumphs. The crying at night when everyone had left and they thought no one could see or hear and the devastation that this brought to everyone in that ward including me was very sad.
The man next to me had so much determination. The day his physio came in and he moved slightly was a celebration for everyone in that room and let me tell you, the fact that I was determined to get my facial movement back and I could show my progress motivated the others too.
Thank you for your note of me driving around a short time later with hair and make up done. Firstly, my partner drove because I wasn’t allowed. Second of all, any type of normality I could keep and routine in hospital kept me strong. The physical things I went through are bad but the mental side is and was so much worse. I’ve never been more scared in my life and I’ve been in some pretty hairy situations in my time. Everyday I tried to keep a routine. I had a shower then sat in my bed and put my hair up, most days in a pony tail and some days I did my make up if I was having visitors. My face was paralysed and for me, it destroyed my self esteem so doing this made me feel a little bit better.
After 5 days, I was allowed to venture outside in a wheel chair pushed by my fiance. This was the highlight of my day and did so much for my mental well being. I’m always outside doing something. I love walking and prior to getting sick I walked 50 plus kilometers a week. I loved long distance walking and competed in a 35km walk. I rode my horse, was renovating my home and loved going to the beach so being locked inside is not ideal for me.
Once I got out of hospital. It was even scarier. I thought I would be happier but I was just more worried because I didn’t have that instant medical care. I cried a lot and had panic attacks if I had any weird sensation. My fiance, being the amazing person he is, would drive me around in the car. Even if it was driving me along a road where there was a beach or took me to places where I didn’t have to move too much. He knew it would cheer me up and be good for me mentally. He was right. These things helped me. So before you start mocking or implying that my condition isn’t that serious make sure you understand the complete story. My determination and mental strength has had a huge impact on my physical progress so without me pushing through and doing all the things that you are mocking me about I wouldn’t be where I am today. I may appear normal now to everyone on the outside but the main artery to my brain is ruptured and will take a year or more to heal so on the inside I’m far from normal. The risk of having a stroke at any moment is very high and scary.
Please don’t take pleasure in thinking that I feel the need to justify these comments because I know I don’t but if I can take these comments and turn them into a lesson all I can do is thank you. Thank you for contributing to making me a stronger individual.
NOVEMBER 15th, 2021 UPDATE:
I’ll be addressing this article over several posts. I do not wish to speak to the media as they don’t print the truth and cut and paste words to make them say what they want. If I respond. It will be on my terms every time and I will have control over what I say and what is put out there.
I have literally had enough. I am exhausted. I am exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. My life since 10 minutes after receiving the vaccine has been horrendous. There are no other words. I am a strong person but even this is the biggest test of my life. The physical stuff is really bad but the mental and emotional side is by far the hardest. I have to pick myself up every day. I have to find every ounce of strength I have to get through every minute.
Here is my biggest question…. why on earth am I the one that has to continue to prove that what has happened to me is real. Why is the Onus of Proof on me?
Let me first address the headline here:
“ A WA Police Officer has been accused of spreading COVID misinformation after she compared vaccine mandates as torture.”
Let’s look at who is accusing me of this. We have a medical professional who specialises in cosmetic surgery and has never met me, he does not know me and has never examined me medically in any way or read my medical notes. This is the person saying all of this and not only criticising what happened to me but comparing it to a car crash which is and will never be a side effect of having any vaccine.
“…. She compared the mandates as torture.”
This is what I said
“The thought of lining up to get the second shot and waiting to see how long it takes for my body to have a stroke, brain damage, or death is nothing short of torture.”
This is about my mindset, not anyone else. How I feel is real. I am a human being and my experience has been the scariest thing I have ever experienced so the thought of being made to have a second vaccine after everything I have experienced from just ten minutes after receiving the vaccine causes me a lot of fear and yes I would describe this as torture. I didn’t just have a stroke. I have had a lot of things happen to me and people are forgetting that. I’ve never drunk alcohol, I’ve never tried drugs or a cigarette. I drink green juices and natural powders and do my absolute best to stay fit and healthy. I was a very active person so if you look at all the circumstantial evidence and the balance of probabilities. I shouldn’t be the one constantly defending myself.
The last thing I want to address today is that I have been accused of discouraging people from getting vaccinated.
I have never encouraged nor discouraged anyone to get or not get vaccinated if they didn’t already have that opinion to start with.
My post reads
“…I don’t want anything from telling my story accept the acknowledgment that no vaccine or medical procedure is safe for everyone. This is not my opinion, this is fact and the COVID vaccine is no exception. No one has the right to tell someone else that they have to put something in their body as they don’t know the risks to that person. It is causing a sad division in our society and not making anyone happy. If you choose to have the vaccine then great and if you don’t then that is ok too. Please be kind to each other and treat each other fairly and equally, we all deserve it.
People have personally messaged me apologising because they feel as though they have to give in to getting the vaccine and they are letting me down. My response has always been the same. “You have to do what is right for you” and my response today still does not change.
I would like to address and say so much more but I need to put my health first and this is extremely stressful for me.
NOVEMBER 16th, 2021 UPDATE:
NOVEMBER 17th, 2021 UPDATE:
I’m telling my story because I never want to be the person who looks back & wonders what could have happened if I wasn’t too scared.
I never thought that my photos and videos would be seen by anyone else but this one shows my facial paralysis and me trying to blink during my physio exercises.
I never thought in a million years that my story would reach as many people as it did. I don’t gain any personal benefit from sharing my story. What I do risk is my job, my peace, my stress levels, being personally attacked by strangers, ridiculed, insulted and called everything under the sun.
These comments have made me cry, question my decision to tell my story and question the minds of human kind and how some people could have such a lack of compassion towards another. However, I have discovered that I have gained so many more positives than negatives. I have a sense of purpose and the resilience and mental strength I’ve gained from every single person who has come into contact with my story has been a benefit to me in some way and I hope I have done the same for all of you too.
I have only read a few negative comments on my page but I have been advised that there are many. The reason I haven’t is even though they can be hurtful, they are none of my business. I haven’t done anything personal to anyone who reads about me so their personal attack is simply to do with their own thought processes. When someone tries to destroy another person it says more about them then it does about me. My energy is more beneficial to helping myself get better than defending what happened to me so if you want to leave a negative comment then please do so but you will be wasting your time because your opinion doesn’t change the truth.
NOVEMBER 18th, 2021 UPDATE:
NOVEMBER 19th, 2021 UPDATE:
NOVEMBER 18th, 2021 UPDATE: