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New Zealand

Kahlia's story in her own words


Last update: 31 July, 2011


On the 27th of January, I had my first vaccination against cervical cancer. I started to experience headaches and nausea, which I did not put down to the vaccine at first. Over the next three weeks, I experienced uncontrollable mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, and clumsiness. I passed out a week before I was actually admitted to the hospital.


On the night of the 27th of February, I was taken to the hospital because I had tight, stabbing chest pains, shortness of breath, and headaches. My left leg had started spasming and I had a heavy feeling on my left sid,. After x-rays, ECG and blood tests all came back clear, I was sent home.


When I awoke on the morning of March 1st, I had a numb, heavy feeling in my left cheek and left arm. I pulled back the covers to see that my left leg was swollen and bright purple. When I crawled out of bed, I realised I couldn’t lift my leg or bend my knee. My mother took me to the doctors, who then called an ambulance.


My left leg was 3 cm bigger in circumference than the other one, and hypersensitive. They suspected a blood clot. The hospital  I went to wanted to send me home, yet again, but my mother put her foot down.


I was admitted to the hospital on the morning of the 2nd of March, not realising I would be there for a month. During my stay, I had every possible test related to my symptoms; symptoms that were rapidly changing. My leg was now freezing cold.


After a week and a half in the general ward, I was moved to rehabilitation. Slowly, with an increase in pain medication, I was able to regain a little mobility back. However, I had many setbacks.


My symptoms seem to repeat within my menstrual cycle, worse at certain points during the cycle. In April, my left eye dried up — a new symptom for me.


I was discharged from the hospital with causes ‘unknown.’ My mum had researched Gardasil throughout my hospital stay. She found all symptoms related to what I had been experiencing. We suggested Gardasil as a cause to the doctors.


They will not say it is 100% the cause because they cannot prove it. On the other hand, they can’t say it’s not 100% the cause because they cannot prove that either.


It took me three months to begin thinking about returning to school. Most days I feel nauseated and tired. Every cervical cancer vaccine ad I see or hear makes me angry.


I am a young 17 year old who is usually bubbly, positive and outgoing. Now, I am too scared to go into public places or be around people because I fret the questions, looks and thoughts. This has definitely ruined my life and needs to be stopped.



Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Gardasil Awareness NZ or their volunteers.

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