Nine Years Later: HPV Vaccine Injury Survivor is Still Recovering
Kristin Bell was a healthy, athletic, high-functioning 26 year old woman prior to receiving two damaging doses of Gardasil – the disputed and ill-conceived HPV vaccine. Kristin recalls, “I was at the doctor getting other tests done, and it was recommended by my general practitioner (GP). I wasn’t given much information, if any – just that it was beneficial.” Kristin heard about the HPV vaccine from the media and felt since she had a family history of breast cancer, “it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Kristin was unaware of the detrimental health risks of the Gardasil vaccine and did not receive true informed consent from her GP. Kristin revealed, “The more research I’ve done has clearly shown me that the Gardasil vaccine wasn’t needed.”
I first learned about Kristin’s experience from watching her in the Sacrificial Virgin’s documentary series. This award-winning film investigates the dangers of the HPV vaccines and features several young women who suffered as a result of severe vaccine injuries. Kristin’s debilitating Gardasil injury story and her diligent path to recovery is still in progress, after NINE YEARS. This should snap everyone, including the medical industry, out of the delusionary coma that this vaccine is safe or effective.
In May 2008, Kristin received the first of two Gardasil shots. Two weeks after the vaccine she fell during karate and broke her foot even though she had been athletic her entire life with minimal injury. On crutches for six weeks, with her foot in a moon boot, was more than inconvenient as she began a new job. A few months later, in August 2008, she received a second Gardasil dose as she was healing newly off crutches. About a month later in September, she suffered from a series of bizarre health issues. Kristin lost her vision, but luckily her sight returned. Following her visual issues, her balance began to deteriorate and she was unable to “stand in high heels, dance, jump, run, skip, or walk in a straight line” due to her gradual lack of coordination and balance. As if her condition could not worsen, she then lost her handwriting ability, had impaired speech, and experienced body twitching and shaking when she intended to move or even for a simple task. The right side of Kristin’s body was primarily affected — so much so, she assumed she was having a stroke. Her body would take months to recover from cuts and bruises – often due to her increasing clumsiness and poor coordination that often led to re-injury.
When Kristin confronted her general practitioner on several subsequent visits, she was informed her symptoms were stress related, or they were due to a pinched-nerve or “insanity” that caused this sequence of adverse reactions. Displeased with the unsubstantiated answers she was given, she switched doctors in search of truth and hope. Kristin’s new GP referred her to a Neurologist who initially determined she had Multiple Sclerosis (MS), despite no visible indication from any of her scans or medical tests. Kristin was administered three doses of the steroid, IV Methylprednisolone, for three consecutive days with not much improvement. By December 2008, she had resigned from her job as her health dramatically plummeted. Kristin sought out a second opinion from a different Neurologist and after examining her physical issues, he asked, “Have you had any vaccines lately?” Several of his patients had similar negative issues and disabling reactions. The common injury thread was found in the needle of poison – Gardasil.
Over the next several months, Kristin’s health declined – as if it couldn’t possibly diminish any further. From hallucinations to blackouts, to insomnia, to being chronically sick, nausea, to “brain fog,” and the lack of ability to handle basic tasks, Kristin’s quality of life had dramatically worsened. By June of 2009, another round of detailed Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans illustrated that her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement, motor and sensory function, and coordination – turned off. Kristin struggled to eat, walk, speak, and write. Her immune system was failing and she discovered her myelin sheath – which acts like coating around her nerves, had dissolved. For the next year, she was in the hospital every 28 days for an Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIG) treatment. In addition to the IVIG, and the major headaches this treatment caused, Kristin also received physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and hydrotherapy.
Kristin was diagnosed with the condition Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which is defined as “an immune mediated disease of the brain. It usually occurs following a viral infection but may appear following vaccination, bacterial or parasitic infection, or even appear spontaneously. As it involves autoimmune demyelination, it is similar to Multiple Sclerosis, and is considered part of the Multiple Sclerosis borderline diseases.”
Kristin shared, “simply put, it presents itself in a similar physical manifestation to MS; however it is believed that the ADEM, which I experienced, was a one-off attack of my immune system, not ongoing degeneration. Also, unlike MS, the myelin sheath is believed to be repairing.”
Kristin also pursued additional therapies and testing to improve her health. Under the care of a homeopath that specialized in vaccine injuries, she found success with homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy has decreased her tremors and helped improve her speech and balance. Chiropractic has also contributed to Kristin’s healing through the stimulation of her nervous system and cerebellum. In 2014, Kristin submitted a hair sample for metal testing, – and even after 6 years post Gardasil injections, her Aluminum levels were still high. (Aluminum is a predominant ingredient in Gardasil.) Kristin’s poor health also indicated her body was not absorbing the nutrients from her food. As a result, she also consulted with a nutritionist. Throughout her challenging vaccine injury healing process, she has investigated her health from diverse modalities, angles, and approaches with incredible perseverance, fortitude, and determination.
For a glimpse into Kristin’s agonizing experience, how her life is now, how she copes with her injuries, and her advice, read what she has to say from our recent interview:
Q: Describe your recovery process and include any legal action or reporting of your adverse reaction.
Kristin: My recovery process has been a long nine year experience, and one, which is still going. Since I live in Australia, I have reported my injury to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Although it took me four years and heaps of tests to finally be recognized as vaccine injured! “Legal action is unfortunately at a stand still. We lack sufficient causation to prove beyond “reasonable doubt.”
Kristin: I question how many other girls (and now boys) there are out there who are not on any register, but who suffer. Originally, I was misdiagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis, so I question also how many misdiagnoses there are out there.
(Multiple Sclerosis is commonly diagnosed post vaccine injury from Gardasil. A new February 2018 research study discovered the connection between MS development and two teens after HPV vaccination.”)
Q: Are you still in recovery?
Kristin: Sure am. I get the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding from the Australian Government which goes a small way in helping with things like having a cleaner and a gardener, getting occasional therapies, and home modifications.
Q: What lasting effects do you experience, if any?
Kristin: I still struggle with speech, balance, and handwriting. This is largely right side dominated. I still struggle with sleeping, and leg and head pain. My immune system is still low, so I have to be careful. My eating and bowels are still unsettled. A lot of things I just treat as normal now, so it’s difficult to say what is still wrong!
Q: What is life like for you now?
Kristin: Busy! I work full-time as a high school teacher, so I have to manage my time well. (I went back to university and retrained when I was at the height of my illness and in the hospital). I commute an hour to work each day. I am a Year Coordinator and have been for four years, which allows me to look after all aspects of the year group – academic, pastoral, discipline etc. I also teach grades 7-12 in Geography, Commerce, Society and Culture, and Legal studies. I renovate houses with my (now) husband (we have done two in the past year, and flipped one). Recently I got married, and we have also acquired another business to begin running shortly. Life is further complicated by my illness. Nothing is simple. The process of writing on a card or addressing an envelope will take me ten minutes. I can’t wear heels, I can’t run, and I stumble at times when I walk, giving the illusion that I am intoxicated. My life is still full of rehab, doctor’s visits, and endlessly trying to cure my body. My speech is still slurred, leaving many to assume that I am unintelligible, as my speech would suggest – however nothing could be further! Everything takes longer to do. I struggle to sleep, and have for nine years, which serves to worsen my condition. I have food intolerances, which can make it difficult to eat certain foods. There are many other things, but hopefully that gives you a snapshot!
Q: What do you miss out on?
Kristin: I don’t miss out on much now – unless I am tired. I avoid pubs and clubs, as I am often refused entry and accused of being too drunk to enter as my speech is slurred. When it is cold, my body shakes. It upsets me as I used to love going out and enjoyed dancing. I tend to go home early now, as being refused entry is upsetting. My friends and family are really good and supportive – if I am feeling unwell, they let me rest. I don’t really drink if I go out, and they are good about that too. I’m the kind of person where I will push myself to try new things, and get out there and enjoy life. I don’t enjoy taking pity on myself.
Q: How do you cope with your injury?
Kristin: I have learned the best way around things is to draw as little attention to my injury as possible, and to cause the least frustration for me. For example, I struggle to carry a glass of water, so I will get water in bottles for guests. I allow more time to get things done, and I make sure things are done well, so that people will look at the work and praise that, and then in turn, praise me. I also make a conscious effort to do this with how I look – so that people will concentrate on the fashion rather than how crappy I may look without the make up! I figure it is always going to be a part of my life now, so I accept it – but I will never stop trying to eradicate it! Oh – I’m a big fan of technology – it’s great at masking the fact that I can’t write. I’ll send emails rather than talking on the phone if I’m having a bad day and my speech is slurred. I’ll delegate wherever possible. I’m a very organized person too, so I will organize others to do the physical work and utilize my strengths of list-making to ensure the job gets done.
Q: What was your experience being featured in the HPV documentary series, Sacrificial Virgins?
Kristin: It was a good experience being involved with the Sacrificial Virgins film series. Hopefully the film has had an effect on one person. If it has, it is worth it!
Q: What advice or recommendations do you have for young girls and boys that are told they need the HPV shot?
Kristin: Educate yourself before you vaccinate. I would never tell anyone not to get a vaccine – it’s your body, your choice. I can simply say what has happened to me, and that you should be cautious.
Q: What advice or words of insight and wisdom do you have for those that are also vaccine injured from Gardasil?
Kristin: Keep fighting, and have a little bit of faith. It does get better. You’ll likely be fighting for your whole life. It may not be the easy option, but you’re alive, and we’re all in this together.
To connect with Kristin, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s in contact with hundreds of girls, young women, and families worldwide that have been adversely affected by Gardasil.