COVID: Dad suffers stroke and vision loss in a rare reaction to jab

His family says they are not against vaccination and would not want their story to be capitalized on by anti-vax campaigners.

The wife of a man who suffered a stroke after taking the Covid-19 vaccine said it feels like he is ‘trapped in his body.’ The IT had a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine barely nine days after receiving his first dose in May.

Worst Nightmare

John O’Neil, 42, is one in 50,000 people to experience an extreme reaction to the vaccine. The IT engineer and father of two has asthma and so does his five-year-old son, making the family extra careful during the lockdown.

They were looking forward to protecting themselves with the vaccine, but John’s reaction to the jab has had an adverse effect on the family.

According to his wife Vicky, John suspected he might be at risk of having blood clots due to his lung condition. She said:

On the day we had the vaccine he said he’d have AZ and I’d have Pfizer, so that at least the children will have one of us. John gets very upset now, because what we were worried about has pretty much happened.

Like most people, John had minor reactions to the vaccine in the first couple of days after taking the shot. Nine days later, he complained of extreme fatigue, general malaise, and pain in his eye.

Government let-down

Initially, doctors thought it was a case of migraine, but later realized it could be a rare reaction to the vaccine.

He became paralysed on the right-hand side of his body and lost vision in his left eye. John returned home to his wife and children after spending a long period of time in intensive care. According to EssexLive, Vicky expressed how her husband’s life took a turn for the worse.

He has significant brain damage, so has to be spoken to slowly. He can’t digest information in big groups of people or noisy places. He’s improving with his speech and is trying to put sentences together. He struggles with reading, writing, numbers and letters. He completely knows what he wants to say, but his brain can’t process how to get the words out. He finds it frustrating.

She added that despite the unfortunate turn of events, the family still believes vaccination is the surest way out of the pandemic.

We’re not against the vaccine, and we did want it. Even now, we’re unsure but we’re not against people having it. We feel extremely let down that the government hasn’t put anything into place for us, as our lives have been completely changed forever.

John's sister has set up a Just Giving page and Vicky admits she has been overwhelmed by the massive £16,376 that's been donated so far.

Less severe reactions recorded after COVID jab than seen in clinical trials Less severe reactions recorded after COVID jab than seen in clinical trials