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Our message of support to Adam Rowland and a call to other healthcare professionals

Adam Rowland has been known to us in his capacity as a professional sports physio. He suffered catastrophic and progressive loss of health following AstraZeneca Covid vaccination. This is our message of support and our call to all healthcare professionals

We see you and hear you. We believe you. We’re taking this seriously”

It goes without saying that the Covid pandemic caused a great deal of suffering and loss for so many people. When the vaccines emerged the sigh of relief was loud and palpable. There was hope that this would signal our return to normality. But as a former pharmacist, I knew that even the most successful pharmaceutical products ever developed come with at least some small degree of risk of serious adverse effects.

Healthcare professionals and the wider scientific community are still trying to understand all of the mechanisms involved in how Covid causes its harms and why some develop long Covid. Yet for a minority of people, the vaccines have caused harm too. It isn’t heresy to state this. This year, the UK government has paid out its first one-off vaccine damage payments to some of those most seriously injured by Covid vaccinations.

I want to make clear that this is not an anti-vaccine message. We know that Covid carries risks. But to use an analogy, a person who recognises the benefits of being able to drive a car is also capable of recognising that car crashes do occasionally happen.

No matter the cause, those facing a life changing deterioration in their health need to be listened to. They want answers and help. I recall that Martyn first became interested in musculoskeletal medicine after his own personal experience with severe sciatica-like pain. He had been through a journey of seeking help from a number of healthcare professionals. I saw first hand what it was like to see someone in pain, no longer able to enjoy their normal activities and the loss of identity which comes when someone can no longer do what makes them tick. I know how frustrating it is for someone to receive different /conflicting diagnoses and to go through the process of trying various treatments, sometimes with disappointing results, in the hope that maybe one will eventually work.

Yet there is a glaring difference between Martyn’s experience and that of Adam Rowland which is unrelated to the difference in symptoms. It is that Martyn WAS listened to and he WAS taken seriously. Adam is a former colleague of Martyn’s, a physiotherapist working in professional sport who suffered catastrophic and progressive loss of health following Covid vaccination. His experience which he documents online reveals a harrowing tale of disbelieving doctors, of buck passing and of difficulty in accessing appropriate investigations and treatment. He is still struggling to access the help he needs.

Covid has delivered many challenges and unknowns with which we continue to grapple to try to understand. The issue of long Covid is now well recognised by healthcare professionals and the NHS, and input in terms of research and help are now forthcoming in this area. Yet those who have suffered vaccine injury receive little attention. Such injuries are not universally recognised by healthcare professionals and this needs to change. Sufferers will continue to struggle to gain equitable access to healthcare diagnosis and timely management, unless we take this issue seriously.

We don’t claim to have any detailed understanding or answers. The ability to admit when you have no answers is not an admission of failure, but one of honesty. But we do fail if we lack a duty of care and compassion. The first message we can give to those vaccine injured is:: “We see you and hear you. We believe you. We take your suffering seriously”. If more healthcare professionals echo this call, and acknowledge that these injuries exist, surely we can help to build the momentum for change required so that Adam and others in a similar position can finally get the expert help they so desperately need.

Lisa and Martyn Speight

T: 01943 850950   E: info@wharfedaleclinic.co.uk
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