This is Luke's story:
Hi, my name is Luke. Prior to the vaccine, I was a fit mid 30's guy who spent most of my spare time either in the gym or out hiking the mountains of California. Over the past 9 months, I've been battling persistent myocarditis and pericarditis. My body is just stuck in the unending cytokine storm. I've tried all sorts of treatments, drugs, etc...
Way back in April 2021, I was roped into the Vaccine for work purposes. With the lack of liability and no long term data I was very hesitant and skeptical of the whole thing. There was a strong push to go back into the office and LA County was requiring it. That combined with the desire to travel and knowing LA they would start requiring passports I could see it becoming a nightmare later on. So against my own better judgement and shameful as it is, I went ahead and got it. I have all of my other shots what's the worst that could happen?
3 days after my second shot, I woke up like any other day. I took a handful of steps out of bed and had a heart attack. A few minutes later I drove myself to the ER and stumbled in. I left my car at the entrance. At first they tried to brush me aside saying it's anxiety while I was struggling to function.
Thankfully they took the situation serious enough to do a bedside ekg, echo and draw blood to check my CRP and Troponin. My Troponin came in elevated and I was then admitted to the cardiac ward. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days, blood draws, ct scans, and an angiogram.
When I was there I suggested: could this have been from the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine? My ER cardiologist straight up just laughed in my face and told me it's impossible.
For about 5-6 weeks I was bedridden with chest pain that didn't let me sleep. Just writhing in stabbing paid and constant burning and had such low energy levels I couldn't advocate for myself. So I was stuck with this horrible doctor for that time.
For about 6 months I was dealing with horrific headaches, burning arms and legs, massive fatigue that have thankfully eased up. I largely attribute this to HBOT. However my heart just couldn't handle it. In September I had a relapse after feeling around 30% that left me feeling like I just couldn't breathe and POTS came on pretty aggressively. My chest pain is still kicking my butt.
Flaring up even if I'm doing something as simple as getting water, brushing my teetch, just normal living. Just this constant stabbing, the occassional hour or two where I feel like I can't breathe, and burning pain. Flares sometimes get so bad it puts me down for a few days in pain. I've gone from training over 12 hours a week to being unable to even walk down the stairs.
For months I was passed from doctor to doctor until I was passed on to the current team that has been working with me. If you can think of a test or scan, they've ran it multiple times. I've lost count how many X-rays, CT scans, and ECHO's I've had. I'm beyond grateful to now have a team of doctors that support me and are working hard to get my the treatment I need to heal.
We're at the stage where we are looking at doing another IVIG along with starting Anakinra as well. We're hopeful this plan given the data we have, should get my il-1b under control and allow my body to heal.
Without my family there's no way I would have even been able to drive out to appointments, get food, and other basic tasks. I have no doubt without my wife, I probably would have starved by now. She's been amazing throughout all of this.
It's heartbreaking to go from where we were in our lives to looking forward to the next chapter, to being disabled and so uncertain of the future. Definitely something we never would have expected.
We feel lied to, deceived, and left behind.
I've been unable to work during all of this. Sitting for too long makes symptoms ramp up and the stress unfortunately makes flare like clockwork leaving me unable to work. I've used all my sick leave and short term disability. We've racked up over $30k in medical expenses which has been extremely stressful for us. With the upcoming MRI and treatments it's going to hurt, but we feel like this is the best option we have given the data.
Out of everything else I used to do that I miss so much, I just want to get back to being able to drive and work. Have that bit of independence back. Just so I can begin to provide again and start to pay it forward.