NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Brandy Parker-McFadden sits in her Vanderbilt hospital bed, unable to stand.
“Our youngest is like – are you ever going to walk again? We just reassure him this is extremely rare.”
The mother of three received her second Pfizer COVID shot on April 16. Hours later, an unusual sensation started in her legs.
“Then it turned into a horrible neck pain, and it just kept getting worse and worse,” recounted Brandy.
Her husband James knew something was terribly wrong. “She was screaming in pain. She is one that is pretty stoic. That’s what created the sense of urgency.”
James rushed Brandy to the emergency room at Vanderbilt, and then the unimaginable happened.
“I woke up. I can’t move my arms. I can’t move my legs. So, he’s freaking out. The doctors are panicking,” Brandy recalled.
“I’m holding her hand, and her hand is limp throughout the whole thing while she’s screaming in pain,” remembers James, “And all the test results are coming back negative.”
Ten days later, Brandy is able to move her arms again and wiggle her toes. She will now undergo intensive physical therapy, hoping to walk again.
“I’m going to fight. I’m a fighter,” Brandy said with a determined look.
Brandy is no stranger to showing strength when faced with adversity. She’s turned her diagnosis of epilepsy into a non-profit called My Epilepsy Story. She regularly advocates for women’s health issues, awareness, and support for doctors which is why she feels sharing this experience is crucial.
“It’s a very rare, rare thing to happen. However, we need to report those rare things because otherwise, we won’t have trust in the medical field,” said Brandy.
While a formal investigation hasn’t started into Brandy’s possible reaction, her Vanderbilt medical records read in part:
“All of these symptoms are temporally related to the COVID vaccine, raising concern for a vaccine reaction which has been reported to vaers for investigation.”
Brandy wants to be very clear; she isn’t saying don’t get your vaccine. She wants people to be aware of the signs and speak up if they don’t feel well.
“If you’re hesitant, I tell people to call your doctors because it is extremely rare.”
News 2 reached out to Pfizer. The company released the following statement:
“We take adverse events that are potentially associated with our COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, very seriously. We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with global regulatory authorities. At this time, our ongoing review has not identified any safety signals with paralysis and the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
To date, more than 200* million people around the world have been vaccinated with our vaccine. It is important to note that serious adverse events that are unrelated to the vaccine are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population.”
*Vaccine doses administered are derived from the CDC’s published administration data by manufacturer CDC COVID Data Tracker. Outside the U.S. we compare published vaccine administration data (all manufacturers combined) from Our World in Data (Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations – Statistics and Research – Our World in Data), to Pfizer vaccine shipment data.