‘I Just Want My Life Back’ Says 16-Year-Old Who Developed Neurological Symptoms After Pfizer Vaccine

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Sarah Green was a healthy 16-year-old — until she developed neurological problems after getting Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. But doctors said her new tremors, tics and debilitating migraines couldn’t possibly be caused by the vaccine.

In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Sarah and her mother, Marie Green, said they feel helpless because nobody will acknowledge Sarah’s vaccine injury and “nobody can help them.”

Sarah received her second dose of Pfizer on May 4, and immediately experienced a headache at the base of her neck that radiated to her temples. She said it felt like she got “‘hit by a bus.” She took a nap in hopes she could sleep it off.

The headaches never went away and slowly, over the course of three weeks, Sarah developed small facial twitches.

“The night of May 23, I went to my dad because my neck had started twitching every 15 seconds,” Sarah said.

Green said Sarah would start a word and it was as if her brain would reset. “It wasn’t like she was trying to get a word out — it would just start over.”

After Sarah’s symptoms worsened, her parents took her to Johnston Health in Smithfield, North Carolina. Upon arrival the physicians noticed Sarah had constant tremors. Green said the doctor looked down and noticed Sarah’s right foot also had a tremor, but they didn’t have a pediatric neurologist, so she was transferred to WakeMed in Raleigh once she stabilized.

Sarah’s EEG, MRI with and without contrast and CT scans were normal. After two days the doctor came in and said Sarah had a nervous twitch and needed to see a mental health professional.

During the MRI with contrast, Sarah’s mother said she stopped breathing and had to be pulled out of the machine and intubated. Two hours later the doctor came in and said they were going to send Sarah home.

“They weren’t even going to refer her to a neurologist,” Green said. “They said it was just a nervous tick and she needed to see a therapist.”

Green said the vaccine was not the first thing she thought of when her daughter’s symptoms initially started, but the hospital had her fill out a form of things that might have changed and “when it came down to it, the only thing that changed was the vaccine.”

When Green asked the doctor if the vaccine could have caused her daughter’s condition, he got very defensive and said, “We can’t blame everything on the vaccine.”

Green said the physician’s response was frustrating. “How can you say you don’t know what it is but say the vaccine isn’t the cause?” she asked.

Green said, “As soon as we said it was the vaccine, it was like they couldn’t get us out of there fast enough.”

When Sarah finally got into a neurologist on June 6, Green asked if Sarah’s condition was vaccine-related.

The doctor said Sarah had functional movement disorder and it was not related to the vaccine — although she said she has seen more cases since COVID vaccines were approved because people “stress themselves out over the vaccine and it’s psychosomatic.”

According to the National Organization of Rare Disorders, functional movement disorder is a type of functional neurological disorder that occurs when there is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and/or receive signals — rather than a structural disease process, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke.

The condition can encompass a wide variety of neurological symptoms, such as tremors, dystonia, jerky movements (myoclonus) and problems walking (gait disorder).

Green didn’t agree with the doctor’s assessment that Sarah’s reaction was “psychosomatic.”

“Sarah is 16. She was nervous about getting a needle in her arm, but once she got the vaccine she slapped a bandaid on it and went off to starbucks,” Green said.

“When I tried to explain that to her neurologist, she said that I needed to stop focusing on what caused it and focus on getting my daughter well,” Green explained. “But I felt like if we didn’t know why, we wouldn’t be able to treat her the right way.”

Green said Sarah got the vaccine on her own because in North Carolina, she could get the vaccine without parental consent.