Reporter: Stephanie Diffin
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 3, 2010
A Wichita teenager’s life-threatening condition is getting worse, but a group of specialty doctors is giving her new hope for a normal life. 16-year-old Gabi Swank is fighting to get the HPV vaccine Gardasil off the market. Some of her doctors believe it may have caused her condition. Now after months of hearing there is nothing anyone can do, Gabi and her mom are heading to a hospital on the West Coast to see a new group of specialists.
“To go back, and give her life back, there’s nothing in the world I wouldn’t give,” said Gabi’s mom, Shannon Schrag.
It has been two-and-a-half years since 16-year-old Gabi Swank got a shot. Doctors now believe that shot is causing brain swelling, seizures, and could take her life.
“It’s like stabbing, like a stabbing pain in your head,” said Swank.
The pain started after Gabi got the Gardasil vaccine, which is meant to prevent cervical cancer. Her symptoms got progressively worse, then in December doctors started telling Gabi and her mom that there was nothing they could do to help her.
“I would never wish that on anyone. I can’t even begin to explain what it feels like,” said Schrag.
But now, a specialty hospital on the West Coast has accepted Gabi’s case, so she and her mom are leaving town with a new hope.
“Now that there is hope, I’m grasping onto it as hard as I can,” said Swank.
She’s grasping to the hope that she may get to go back to school, get her driver’s license, return to cheer leading. These are all things Gabi has lost in the past two years.
“I’m definitely optimistic. I’m going out there with all the hope in the world,” said Gabi.