Dad ‘paralyzed by Covid vaccine’ returns home after 420 days in hospital

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A dad-of-two left ‘paralyzed’ by the coronavirus vaccine has finally been allowed to go home from hospital – after 420 days.

Anthony Shingler claims to have suffered the rare side effect after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccination, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

Just a few days after the jab, the 58-year-old was rushed to Royal Stoke University Hospital after he started experiencing severe aches as wells pins and needles in March last year.

The former security worker spent months on a ventilator before being transferred to Haywood Hospital in November to continue his long and difficult recovery.

Now, Anthony has finally been discharged and allowed to return home to Northwood to be with his wife Nicola, and their two daughters.

But grandad Anthony – who had no previous health conditions prior to taking the vaccine – says ‘he will never be the same’ after being left needing a wheelchair and walking frame to get around the house.

Describing his time in hospital, he told StokeonTrentLive: “I was asked to make a phone call to my loved-ones as I was taken down to critical care as they didn’t know whether I would make it or not. I spoke to my wife and two daughters and said ‘goodbye’. That was frightening.

Anthony was in hospital since last March
Anthony was hospitalized last March.

“I was then on a ventilator for months recovering. Even though I was the one lying in a hospital bed paralyzed, my family went through more than I did.”

Anthony was officially diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a serious condition that affects the nerves. The condition sees the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis, following infection, and in rare cases, vaccination.

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Anthony was taken off the ventilator in October and managed to breathe on his own but says he still couldn’t move his body.

He added: “I could only move my head. There was a buzzer to call the nurses and I had to headbutt it because I couldn’t use my hands. It messes with your head because your brain is telling you to get out of bed but your body can’t do that. It’s really frustrating.

“When I was moved to Hayward I started physio. There was one stage where I lost it and broke down in tears. They kept me in a separate room all night.”

Anthony added: “Before this happened, I’d class myself as a mentally-strong person. Nothing could phase me but this was something else – it’s taken its toll on my mental health.

“I can’t go to work, drive or dress myself. My hands are so bad that I can’t grip anything. I use a wheelchair and have a walking frame I have to lean on. I can’t stand on my own. I can only walk up to 20 meters with a frame.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, it’s really bad. I did not like any of it but I am lucky to be alive.”

Anthony had no symptoms before he took the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Anthony had no symptoms before he took the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Anthony now regrets following Government advice to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

He said: “It’s life-changing but I didn’t do something that caused this. We just did what the government told is to do. I regret getting the vaccine. If I had known there was a chance of getting this, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it.

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“My nerves have been stripped and damaged. This is the beginning and it’s going to be a long haul. I won’t ever be the same Anthony again.”

While he was in hospital, Nicola, who is now his carer, would visit him twice a day. She previously spoke with StokeonTrentLive when Anthony was fighting for his life.

But 49-year-old Nicola is overjoyed when she returned home on May 17. She said: “We’re unlucky because he got infected but lucky because he’s alive. It’s great to have him back home.

“Now we have to face our daily lives with how it’s affected Tony. I’m his lack of him and we’ve got the added stress of sorting out benefits because we did n’t claim them before. It’s very stressful. We’ve lost our income and even the benefits aren’t sufficient.

Anthony now requires a wheelchair or a frame to get about.
Anthony now requires a wheelchair or a frame to get about.

“Tony will push as far as he can and keep going. The doctor told us we’ll have to wait and see what nature gives him back. I’m adamant it was the vaccine, he was fine until he had it. They’ ve found no other trigger.”

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is monitoring all potential side effects reported to them, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

In an online post about GBS in 2020, www.nhs.uk said: “In the past, vaccinations (particularly the flu vaccine used in the US during a swine flu outbreak in 1976) were linked to an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome .

“But research has since found the chances of developing the condition after having a vaccination are extremely small.

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“For example, a study into the vaccine used during the 2009 swine flu outbreak found that for every million people who had the vaccination, there were fewer than 2 extra cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

“And evidence suggests that you are far more likely to get Guillain-Barré syndrome from an infection, such as the flu, than the vaccine designed to prevent the infection, such as the flu jab.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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