Meet the Gardasil girls: Raquel from Spain

April 27, 2:06 PMVaccines ExaminerNorma Erickson

Raquel was the typical girl next door. She enjoyed spending time with her family and playing with the other children in the neighborhood. Raquel’s biggest concern was studying to get good grades in school. She loved to travel and enjoy the great outdoors.

Raquel was 14 when she got her first shot of Gardasil in November of 2008. In February of 2009, she received her second shot. Five minutes later, she was dizzy; ten minutes later, she was experiencing tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and seizures. A few hours later, she is in intensive care unable to breathe. Raquel is in a coma.

For the next two months, Raquel remains in the intensive care unit battling between coma and convulsions. When she is released from intensive care to a regular ward, Raquel can no longer walk.

During her stay in the hospital, doctors rule out the possibility of encephalitis, viral infection, and bacterial inflammation. Left scratching their heads as to a cause, they say it is a pseudocrisis and release her without further treatment. Raquel had to be transported home in an ambulance because she could not yet sit in a wheelchair, although one was provided for her. She and her family were left trying to deal with convulsions and paralysis on their own.

Raquel’s parents take her to a private neurologist who determines she suffers from demyelination, a loss of the myelin that insulates her nerve endings. She is given a prescription for anticonvulsive treatment and a myelin rebuilder.

In May, she is released to rehabilitation. By the end of July, she can finally walk again.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.