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article imageTwo Canadians partially paralyzed after receiving the H1N1 shot

By Andrew Moran     Feb 1, 2010 in Health
Two Canadians have been diagnosed with the paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome after taking the H1N1 swine flu shot two weeks prior. It's uncertain whether the two incidents are related, doctors say.
In Markham, Ontario, Canada last month, two Canadians were diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which paralyzes your body, after receiving the H1N1 Swine flu shot, according to the Toronto Sun.
The first patient, Donna Hartlen, a Whitby resident who is a mother blames the H1N1 shot she received on Dec. 13. She cannot stand without leaning on a walker, her legs are too numb to allow her to walk, the right side of her face is paralyzed, she cannot chew her food properly and her right eye cannot blink, therefore she wears a bandage.
The second patient, Don Gibson, is now confined to a wheelchair because his legs are so numb now, reports Canoe News. Gibson took the shot in the same Markham doctors’ office as Hartlen but only two days before.
Both victims are healthy, have identical vaccination records and have no prior history of illnesses. Hartlen and Gibson are on their own because not one doctor will discuss the possibility that the H1N1 shot caused GBS and Quebec is the only province with a no-fault compensation program.
The Public Health Agency of Canada states that there are between 600 and 700 cases of GBS per year in Canada, which is usually caused by surgery, respiratory infections and food-borne bacteria. Their website also states that there is a one in a million chance of getting GBS after a flu vaccine and “The benefit of the vaccine outweighs this theoretical risk.”
Nevertheless, Hartlen is convinced that she contracted GBS from the shot, “It’s way too coincidental. It’s either a bad batch or a lot more people are getting this than they are talking about. Not a single doctor we’ve talked with will even remotely discuss that it’s the H1N1 shot. They almost pretend they don’t hear you. They don’t want to alarm the public and they don’t want you to stir up trouble.”
Hartlen’s husband, Wayne Burke, finds it preposterous of how little the Ontario government will do to help their patients after they promoted the shot so much throughout the autumn and winter. The Whitby mother will have to wait up to one year before she could regain movement, which prompts her to ask who will take care of her young children?
“If my kids were 10 and 12 it would be different. But a four and two-year-old need 100% attention and I can’t give it to them. They’re the ones who push this vaccine. They promote it every five minutes on TV. So I do what they say and I get GBS and they’re not going to help me? I need help for my kids - I’m not looking for anything extravagant. I’m not an ambulance chaser. I don’t want to sue anybody. I just want to get my kids looked after while their father is at work.”
More about H1n1 shot, Guillain barre syndrome, Canada
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