This post was written by Shane Cooke’s mother Mary. There have been developments since – see below.
I used to really enjoy Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dall when they were first broadcast on television. Each was a complete story with a twist in its tail – usually a most unexpected twist. They seem to be reappearing on some channel or other nowadays, but I’ve only caught one of them which brought back the memories of old times.
I am about to tell you a tale of my own, or rather, of Shane, my son. An unexpected tale which may have a twist in its tail too.
As a teenager, Shane had an anaphylactic shock to a measles vaccine and had to be rushed to hospital for a thorough check-up. As a result, when talk first came of a vaccine to fight Covid, Shane was unsure about taking it but, following a discussion with the surgery medical team, he went ahead and had his first and second jabs of AstraZeneca’s magic potion without any problems other than the sore arm and slight headache and tiredness that were expected.
Now 42, time came for Shane to have his booster jab. Again, he wondered about it since, this time, instead of the AstraZeneca dose, it would be Moderna. He went along and everything was fine. There was a slight upper arm ache later that day but nothing to be concerned about. As he is lefthanded, Shane has his jabs in his right arm.
Things Not Quite Right
That was on Monday December 13th. On the Tuesday Shane found that he had very little interest in eating but was taking plenty of liquids. On the Wednesday he lost his appetite for any meals and his arm began to ache again – the ache slowly moved on to his shoulder and up his neck. The Thursday was no better, again he was struggling to force himself to eat anything and complained of a slight ache in his upper back. On the Friday he was coming up to our house for the weekend. The backache was still troublesome, and we all assumed that it was muscle ache, probably due to the vaccination a few days previously.
During the Friday evening Shane became extremely anxious. He could offer no explanation whatsoever for this overwhelming fear that seemed to grip him. He felt that breathing was getting very difficult – something that had never been present during his many panic/anxiety attacks of years ago.
He slept fairly well that night but on Saturday morning he was feeling much the same and by then the ‘ache’ was not only at his back but also down his right side, almost to his waist. He had to take paracetamol to help with the pain.
Sunday came and matters deteriorated. The back and side ache were still present but now there was also an ache along his front, just below the ribs. We tried everything that we could think of to make him more comfortable, but it was getting almost impossible. He couldn’t lie down, he couldn’t move his head backwards as the pain became unbearable whenever he moved. He couldn’t eat at all and taking liquids was getting more of a problem too. By Sunday evening Shane was vomiting and was sweating profusely. He was groaning with the pain which was coming in waves. His breathing had become extremely shallow by this time.
Emergency Department Please
At half past ten that Sunday night an ambulance came to take him to hospital for observation. They completed as many tests as possible here before leaving and found that he had some sort of infection somewhere. The ambulance attendant had asked him almost immediately if he still had his gallbladder as, to her who had been through the procedure of gallbladder removal, it seemed that Shane’s excruciating waves of pain were due to a gallbladder problem.
Due to Covid restrictions, hospital visits were not allowed which resulted in everybody trying to phone in for news of their loved ones. This led to a jammed switchboard and no news whatsoever about Shane’s condition.
Knowing that all of this had happened since the booster jab, I went online to see if I could find any information about possible side effects. I found the ‘Drugs.com Know more. Be sure’ website which has a page on the Moderna vaccine. The first side effect on their list was anxiety – that seemed to explain Shane’s agitated state on Friday evening then. I read on, wondering if anything else would prove applicable in Shane’s case. There was mention of ‘chest discomfort’ and ‘chest pain, possibly moving to the left arm, neck or shoulder’. For Shane, this applied to the right arm of course – that being the jabbed arm – so, here again, it seemed to follow Shane’s experience. Having read this, I felt sure that the problem was down to the Moderna vaccine but still had no idea what the hospital may have found to be the problem.
We did find out, eventually, that Shane had been moved from A&E on the Monday to the Surgical Assessment Unit but still had no idea of his condition or diagnosis.
Back Home with Diagnosis
Late on Wednesday afternoon, Shane phoned for us to pick him up – he’d known since 9am that he was to be discharged but, since he had no means of contacting us, he had to wait until he was taken to the “Discharge Lounge” to be able to contact us. It took until 5pm for medications to be brought down from pharmacy and the discharge to be completed.
That is when he was able to tell us that the problem was his gallbladder, that they had carried out very many tests etc. but could find no other causes except the cholecystitis. To clear the inflammation Shane is on two lots of antibiotics and regular doses of painkillers. He remains in pain at the side and chest areas, but the level of pain is now tolerable – unlike the weekend when it really was very bad indeed.
Once home, we could read the Discharge Advice Letter. This described the reason for admission as “right upper quadrant pain” and the clinical findings on admission as “tender in right quadrant”. The test results show that many tests were carried out – with references to ‘all areas’ being clear of blood clots and no signs of gallstones – and the conclusion being Cholecystitis.
When we read this sheet, I decided to look online for signs of inflammation of the gallbladder and, much to my surprise, found that the list was very similar to the list of side effects from Moderna vaccine. This puzzled us. Had Shane been very unfortunate in having some side effects from the jab which masked the onset of the gallbladder problem? I felt that maybe I should be less determined that all his problems had been caused by Moderna and just accept the idea of a coincidence. This was very hard to accept though!
He now awaits an appointment with a specialist to arrange the removal of his gallbladder. He is still in bed mainly, sleeps an awful lot, takes plenty of liquids and is beginning to eat very, very small meals – making sure that everything is fat free for the time being.
Do gallbladder problems often appear out of the blue? I expected that there would have been a spell of troublesome twinges of pain or discomfort after eating before a fully-fledged case of cholecystitis. Shane hasn’t ever had any pains which could indicate this type of problem.
It is still my opinion that the Moderna vaccine was responsible for more than the first few signs of suffering. The first signs were the expected side effects of the jab – what followed, uncontrolled, through the following days, and continue, but now controlled with medications, were totally unexpected.
Shane’s case will be one of ten covered in more detail in a few weeks time on a new Cause and Effect Forum on davidhealy.org. Was this problem caused by the vaccine? If it was caused by the vaccine or might have been, would you have your Gallbladder removed?
Have you had anything like this happen to you?