Miami Man Contracts Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Nearly Dies After Getting Flu Shot

Categories: News
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Armin Kübelbeck via wikimedia commons
Three months ago, Michael Stec could bench-press 275 pounds. Now the 56-year-old struggles to walk, gripping tightly to the parallel bars at Mercy Hospital, his legs buckling underneath him like broken stilts.

Most people never know how they get sick. But Stec says he can pinpoint the exact moment. He even has a receipt for it: a $32 influenza vaccine from a local CVS Pharmacy.

"Something is wrong with this flu shot," he says from his hospital bed, his tracheotomy scar still visible.

Stec, who asked to go by his wife's maiden name because he works for a government agency that hasn't authorized him to speak, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) November 11 -- eight days after receiving the flu shot.

"At first I felt a tingling in my fingers and toes, but I didn't think anything of it," he says. By the end of the day, however, he knew something was seriously wrong.

"The next morning he couldn't walk," says his wife, Isabelle. "He was staggering around like he was drunk."

When Stec began having trouble breathing, she dialed 911. Stec passed out shortly after paramedics arrived. Stec's diaphragm shut down an hour after he was rushed to Mercy. Doctors cut a hole in his throat and put him on a breathing machine. Then his nervous system went haywire. Several times Isabelle thought he would die.

Three months later, Stec is recovering. Last week he took his first, shaky step. His outrage, however, is strong. "I cannot believe that the U.S. government would allow such a thing to be on the market," he says.

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miamidade.gov
This season has, in fact, seen unprecedented advertising for flu vaccines, which are a booming industry in the United States. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CVS Pharmacy do warn people of the risk of contracting GBS. But the warning is vaguely written in fine print: "If there is a risk of GBS from current flu vaccines, it would be no more than one or two cases per million people vaccinated."

"CVS/pharmacy is committed to safe vaccination practices," a spokesman says. "The low risk associated with vaccinations and GBS is in no way related to CVS/pharmacy specifically."

The CDC says the minute risk of GBS is worth it. "You have to look at the whole package of risk and benefit," says Dr. Claudia Vellozzi, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office. The flu kills an average of 36,000 Americans per year, she points out, and contracting GBS from a vaccine is extremely rare.

Stec questions that logic, however. "You can risk getting paralyzed, or you can risk a couple of weeks with the sniffles," he says. "How can you put this in comparison?"

He believes there are more victims like him than the CDC and Big Pharma admit. "They say the chances are one in a million," Stec says. "I think there are more and they are hiding the statistics."

Stec says it will be months before he can return to work. He may never fully recover and is considering filing a lawsuit in "vaccine court."

"This is agony," he says. "People should know that before getting the shot."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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56 comments
ciaparker2
ciaparker2

My father was paralyzed for the last three years of his life by a flu shot. He also completely lost his voice for a month after the shot, both symptoms of mercury poisoning. I reacted to the mercury in a tetanus vax with both arms being paralyzed, brachial plexus neuropathy, and went on to develop MS. My baby was given the hep-B vax at the hospital when she was born, and reacted with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming, vaccine-induced encephalitis, and was later diagnosed with autism. My mother has had Alzheimer's for the last fifteen years, caused by their yearly flu vaccines.

It's completely incomprehensible how people can continue getting these devastatingly dangerous shots just because the medical cartel pushes them. How much is your life or your child's worth? Can people not muster the courage to just say no?

jessicagibbs221122
jessicagibbs221122

If you think Heather`s story is incredible..., five weeks ago my brother's best friend basically got a cheque for $6950 putting in eighteen hours a week from there house and the're co-worker's half-sister`s neighbour was doing this for 4 months and got paid over $6950 in their spare time at Their laptop. use the advice available at this link, Fox76.comCHECK IT OUT

victorpavlovic
victorpavlovic

CDC said the risk of vaccine injury is worth it, of course it is, their partner in destroying lives of millions of people the Drug Cartel would agree as well, since they profit from pushing these toxins on us.It is obvious that what ever the CDC endorses, just do the opposite, since they are not for the public's best interest!

ancfrid
ancfrid

I was diagnosed with GBS 11/22/12, after being giving a antibiotic shot for a Respiratory infection.  I have been told not to take anymore, vaccinations.

annedachel
annedachel

The truth is mercury in still in the majority of the flu vaccine out there. This is recommended for pregnant women children as young as six months.
A child from 6 months to age three receiving a flu vaccine gets 12.5 mcg of mercury. This amount of mercury can be processed only by someone weighing 275 pounds according to the EPA. One month later, another 12.5 booster is recommended. Older children receive the adult vaccine with 25 mcg of mercury. That much mercury is meant for someone weighing 550 pounds according to the EPA.

Also see the National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org/

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

annedachel
annedachel

HDNet TV exposed the fact that while health officials continue to tell us studies show no harmful side effects from vaccines, the federal government has paid out over 2 billion dollars in compensation for vaccine damage. http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/-2-billion-paid-out-for-vaccine-injuries-to-kids-167465175.html

Seeing these children who were born healthy and were suddenly and dramatically affected by their vaccinations should give us all pause.

http://www.omsj.org/corruption/vaccines-autism-mixed-signals

http://www.ebcala.org/areas-of-law/vaccine-law/transcript-of-vaccines-autism-mixed-signals

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

annedachel
annedachel

On January 23, 2013, Reuters published the story, Insight: Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-narcolepsy-vaccine-pandemrix-idUSBRE90L07H20130122

“Emelie is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009.”

We need to honestly and openly address the side effects from an ever-expanding vaccination schedule.

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

annedachel
annedachel

There are over 200 studies that raise serious concerns about vaccine side effects. http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/learn-more/science/

These studies by well-credentialed experts link vaccinations to asthma, diabetes, MS, allergies, encephalopathy, learning disorders, autism, seizure disorders and a host of other conditions we see so often in our children.

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

annedachel
annedachel

If anyone is interested in INDEPENDENT RESEARCH on vaccines and their side effects they have only to look at the website for the new film, “The Greater Good,” (See trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulmEGbwQsOU.) which explores the question of vaccine safety from both sides.

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

annedachel
annedachel

Most of the flu vaccine available contains the mercury-based vaccine preservative, thimerosal, Thimerosal was invented by the drug company Eli Lilly back in 1930. They tested it on 22 patients who were already dying of meningitis and they pronounced it safe, even though all the subjects were dead by the end of the study.

It was never tested or approved by the FDA, yet it’s allowed in vaccines. This oversight failure should call every safety claim into question.

Mercury is a known neurotoxin and the second deadliest element on earth. Why do health officials allow mercury to be injected into human beings?

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

Sasha Winderbaum
Sasha Winderbaum

God only knows what's in those flu shots, let your immune system do it's own thing.

Sasha Winderbaum
Sasha Winderbaum

God only knows what's in those flu shots, let your immune system do it's own thing.

snelverdienen
snelverdienen

This is what used to be called "polio" and according to the CDC "no longer exists thanks to vaccination". "Vaccines success" was just a renaming act.

sarahgibbs221122
sarahgibbs221122

Bryson. although Bonnie`s story is really cool, yesterday I picked up a great new Porsche 911 sincee geting a check for $9647 this - five weeks past and in excess of 10/k this past munth. this is really the best job I've ever done. I began this three months/ago and pretty much straight away made at least $69 per hour. I went to this site,, Fox76.comTAKE A LOOK

ddlapan
ddlapan

Given a flu shot and a Tetanus shot. Began with symptoms...No one could dx what was wrong. Finally after a lot of damage and dead nerves...Was given dx of cidp (Chronic Inflammatory Demylinating Polyneuropathy) a cousin to GBS. (What the man in the story above has). I ended up paralyzed. ... I am walking now with braces and a cane. It has been a loooong four years. I can talk, but I have no voice. I am 54 years old now.

miriam
miriam

I will never get a flu shot because they do not work and because I don't want formaldehyde, aluminum, mercury, antibiotics and unknown viruses injected into my body in the name of healthcare.  No thank you.  Almost 60 years old and have never had the flu.

janie
janie

When we don't have control over what  substances are injected into our bloodstreams, we do not live in a free country.

Eric Colyard
Eric Colyard

if flu shots work so well, then i should be no danger to those who decide to dose, logically they would be dangerous to me because i choose not to get my fill of dead virus with just the right amount of mercury and formaldehyde.

Eric Colyard
Eric Colyard

if flu shots work so well, then i should be no danger to those who decide to dose, logically they would be dangerous to me because i choose not to get my fill of dead virus with just the right amount of mercury and formaldehyde.

MadWorld
MadWorld

This is especially important since a flu vaccine is now required for employment if you are a healthcare worker in some states & at many other hospitals. It may soon be a requirement to get a job anywhere or to get health insurance coverage. One doctor recently recommended a flu shot every 6 months! For a disease that is very rare (true lab confirmed influenza is rare--there are lots of other flu-like illnesses). This is madness and there is a clear profit motive. Shame on the CDC.

Cesar Delossantos
Cesar Delossantos

Fact that people dont know about Flu shots is that most of them contain a preservative called Thimerosal, which is 49% Mercury! Do you really want to inject a known neurotoxin into your body? No thanks!

Cesar Delossantos
Cesar Delossantos

I refuse to get one. If you live a healthy lifestyle and have a strong immune system, there is no need.

Jennifer Boise-Graham
Jennifer Boise-Graham

I got the flu shot & then got the flu about a week & a half later. No more flu shot for me, thank you.

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

I think I've done this once in my lifetime. That is gotten a booster flu immunity shot. You catch a mild flu, if there is such a thing and supposedly you're bulletproof. Well that flu season I caught another strain and it didn't matter that I had been immunized. Just my 2 cents, catch whatever you're going to catch because the virus mutates. The flu is misery for a day or two, but once on the other side of it, you'll be fine, just like you have been since childhood. There is no magic vaccine for it.

Firip Onitsuka
Firip Onitsuka

Vaccines have been tied to Guillain-Barré for a long time. The HPV vaccine (Cervical Cancer Vaccine) is pretty infamous for causing it. Obviously, the chances of getting the side effect is small... make your own informed decision. All I know is that these shots should never be mandatory.

Jeremie Fuson
Jeremie Fuson

Last time I had one I ended up missing a week or so of work and was stuck on the couch feeling like I was gonna die. That was about 10 years ago and I havent really been sick since. Maybe a sniffle here and there.

Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes
Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes

Don't believe the hype. I did not get a flu shot. I also didn't get the flu or these stupid side effects that came with it ...

Darlene Watson Serrano
Darlene Watson Serrano

Worst.. my shoulder won't stop hurting since n NO ONE LISTENS... just says it must be from your neck n ignores me. I tell them.. It feels like my muscles r tying themselves into knots in that shoulder n arm. Have 2 keep getting steroid shots 2 stop the swelling n nerve reactions.

Darlene Watson Serrano
Darlene Watson Serrano

U SHOULD HAVE SEEN WHAT HAPPENED 2 ME AFTER I HAD THE SHINGLES VACCINE LOL.... THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE...... ARM GOT TWICE THE SIZE... PHARMACIST WAS SPEECHLESS. SAID I OBVIOUSLY ... GOT ALL... THE SIDE EFFECTS AT ONCE.

Joshua Kritzer
Joshua Kritzer

Most people can stay healthy and free from the flu because of herd immunity. The more people refuse to be vaccinated, the less effective such vaccination programs will be. Further, the flu is far worse than 'a few weeks of the sniffle,' especially for children and elderly. By not getting vaccinated you are selfishly putting others at risk, all because of a nearly infinitesimal chance of a serious adverse reaction. This article should have pointed this out instead of calling the health disclaimers 'vague' and generally fear-mongering.

Terry St Angelo
Terry St Angelo

Been taking the flu shot for 15 years with no problems

Stephanie Lynn
Stephanie Lynn

I refuse to get them and always have. I got in once and was in hospital then my girlfriend child had major nerve damange from eating tuna after getting flu shot and had far to much mercury in her system. People who continue to get the flu shot really amaze me. it takes googling the ingredients in the flu shot and understanding of it to never get one again. And I havent had the flu since my last flu shot 4 years ago.

Ken Russell
Ken Russell

Yes, strange thing happened to me after I got the flu shot..... I got the flu. Does CVS offer a refund?

Lex Dillinger
Lex Dillinger

i've never had a flu shot. i have SEVERE allergies to pet dander, dust and pollen ... so i'm pretty much sickly year round. I think this has created a turbo charged immune syndrome.

Tanya C Davis
Tanya C Davis

so when the flu vaccine actually eradicates the flu...like measles or small pox, maybe then I'll get it.

Carol Sue Gershman
Carol Sue Gershman

Yes, my daughter refused and got the flu... I begged her. not to say she stillwouldn't but at least try!

fraggae
fraggae

@MadWorld You are right.  I was recently terminated from my hospital job of nearly 13 years for refusing my mandatory flu vaccine.  I asked this question of administration..."will you assume responsibility for any adverse reactions that are bound to occur with this new policy?"  of course not!  no one is liable...not the employer who writes and enforces these draconian policies (which are unsubstantiated by any real scientific evidence, btw) and certainly not Big Pharma who are gov't protected from the thousands of adults and children who are vaccine damaged. And in this case, for what?  To avoid an illness that may take you down for 5 days?  Not worth it.  Hand washing and Vit D3 supplementation are proven to work and 100% safe in preventing the contraction and spread of flu. 

shellysulkoske
shellysulkoske

@Joshua Kritzer You "herders" are following the utilitarian philosophy that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  You are asking us to sacrifice our health for your benefit.  That is not what America was built on.  We here in America recognize the rights of the INDIVIDUAL to say NO.  This argument has paved the pathway to hell many times in human history.....anyone remember Hitler?

We should never fall for this false argument, since human dignity and individual rights always trump the wishes of the collective.

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