A woman was left struggling to breathe minutes after receiving her second coronavirus vaccine – and ended up fighting for her life.
Kirsty Hext, 26, had a severe allergy to an unknown ingredient of the Pfizer jab and subsequently suffered 14 anaphylactic shocks.
The mum of one and senior care assistant, from Havant in Hampshire, got her second dose on April 28.
Her tongue and throat then started swelling up and she was taken to A&E.
After stabilising her, doctors at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, revealed she'd had an anaphylactic shock – an intense immune response – which had been triggered by her Covid-19 vaccine.
Kirsty, who lives with daughter Harper-Rose, two, and partner Sean Sims, 29, had a further four anaphylactic shocks that day.
Care staff would rush in to give her adrenaline to keep her alive.
Kirsty said: "Everything was happening so fast and I had no idea what was going on – I even fell unconscious a couple of times.
"I knew how dangerous anaphylactic shocks can be."
Kirsty was moved to ICU as doctors became increasingly concerned by her condition, and over the following week, she had a further five anaphylactic shocks.
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One of these saw her airways swell so severely that her brain was deprived of oxygen, resulting in Kirsty having a seizure where she fell unconscious and was shaking uncontrollably in her bed.
She said: "I truly believed my body was giving up – I thought I was going to die in hospital and I'd never watch my daughter grow up.
"I even had tearful a phone call with my sister where I asked her 'if I don't wake up, can you raise my daughter?'"
After several days and no further shocks, Kirsty was finally discharged on May 5 with EpiPens and instructions to call 999 at the first signs of another episode.
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After just a handful of days at home, Kirsty was rushed back to hospital.
She suffered a further five shocks and another spontaneous epileptic seizure.
The mum is staying in hospital as doctors have warned she will likely have more.
Although she hopes to eventually return home to her family for good, Kirsty said: "Hospital is the safest place for me to be right now."
She still encourages people to go and get their Covid-19 vaccines.
Kirsty explained: "Even though I have nearly died several times since getting vaccinated, I work in the care sector myself and I know how important it is.
"I do think more research should be done into the potential side effects and allergic reactions to the jab, but that shouldn't stop people from being jabbed in the first place.
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"As scary as it was, the treatment and care I have received from staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital has been fantastic, and the paramedics with South Central Ambulance Service have been amazing and saved my life.
"I want people to remember that reactions like mine are very rare – and just because I have had a bad reaction, doesn't mean everyone else will too.
"Vaccinations save lives."
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