My daughter Isabella was born healthy, thriving and very alert.
She received all vaccinations as per the schedule starting with Vitamin K and Hep B at birth. It wasn’t until her four-month vaccinations that we noticed changes in our baby, immediately following these shots Bella developed respiratory issues that resulted in croup.
A heaving chest on a baby is a scary thing to witness especially when they are gasping for air. We rushed to the hospital where she was formally diagnosed. When I asked if it was related to the vaccines, I was told that she was already getting sick and it was just a coincidence. Over the next two months Bella developed dark circles under her eyes and she barely slept.
When she received her six-month vaccinations, she developed croup once again – another rush to the emergency room confirmed it. For the next two months her entire body started to spasm. She would zone out, then both her arms and legs would become stiff like she was having a seizure. This would happen at least five times a day. She also developed blinking episodes that resembled tic behaviour.
Between her six and eight-month shots, we started playing a game which she loved… roll the ball, where we would roll the ball back and forth to one another. At the eight-month wellness check I asked the nurse her advice on the developments with Bella. The response was that all babies have their own quirkiness and said my child was developing fine. She pointed out that she babbles, smiles, she’s attempting to say words and sits on her own. She told me to stop reading the misinformation about vaccine reactions and autism because it’s rare. Worth noting, I had not brought up autism at this stage. Not happy with this answer I took Bella to the GP. He was unable to observe a spasm episode during the appointment, so told me to go home and keep an eye on her.
Before her 12-month vaccination appointment, Bella got sick. The health nurse insisted on vaccinating her with the MMR – I refused. I told her she was sick, and that I didn’t feel comfortable. I then asked about autism. I asked about how doctors in America are speaking out on the triple antigen vaccine trying to get the vaccines split back out into single doses. She called me “stupid” and said that there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause autism. She lied and said it was hereditary. I advised since she said it was hereditary that I would need to speak to my family and husband’s family to confirm. After confirming that there was no autism on both sides of the family, I had strong gut instincts that deterred me from taking her to those shots. However, my husband said, “what are the odds? Your sister’s kids are vaccinated, and they are fine”. My gut instincts were saying NO but I gave in. I decided I was not taking her in to receive the shots, so hubby took her while I waited outside.
BIG mistake. Bella immediately started screaming and could not be settled. In the days following there was an onslaught of issues; she began banging her head, continued to be miserable, crying uncontrollably, her respiratory issues flared up, constant runny nose, her eyes were bulging out of her eye socket. We rushed to the hospital and after telling them that this was a direct result after her being injected with the MMR, we were advised it was a coincidence and they sent us home. We fought for tests, but they said NO.
The next 12 months were the biggest roller coaster. She was sick every second week. Every second week we were at the hospital emergency department. That place became a home away from home.
Her appetite changed and feeding became a struggle. At 16 months I attempted to play roll the ball with her and was met with a blank stare and no attempt to engage with the ball at all. After numerous attempts I gave up hoping this was just a bad day. It was around this time she began to arm flap.
At 17.5 months old we put her in childcare to give her an opportunity to interact with peers of her own age. Shortly after she began attending, I received a concerned phone call from the Centre expressing concerns regarding her development. They advised that Bella was not responding to her name consistently and she wasn’t trying to attempt to say any words. It was suggested we get her ears checked so we did. The results came back all clear.
I knew deep down my daughter was struggling, her regression was gradual. At 2.5 years old she was diagnosed with mild or moderate autism. She is now nine years old and the diagnosis is severe. She is nonverbal, every aspect of her life is filled with therapy, holistic doctor appointments, tutoring… the list is endless.
The Dtap vaccine inserts at the time stated infantile spasms as a known reaction. I reported her reactions to the TGA as neither the health nurse or GP would do it. The lack of support from the medical profession, which pushes these unsafe and untested vials of poison into our children, is ludicrous.
I may have lost the happy memories of being a first-time mum, but vaccines have robbed my daughter of the opportunity to live a normal life. That is something I will never be able to reconcile.