WASHINGTON, D.C. – An Ashburn, Virginia woman is in the fight of her life after suffering a very rare side effect to the seasonal flu shot.
The vast majority of doctors say flu shots are safe. In this case, the FDA says they found nothing wrong with this particular batch, but sometimes there are complications.
That’s apparently what happened to Desiree Jennings, and now her life will never be the same.
At 26 years old, Desiree Jennings was the picture of health. She’s a Washington Redskins cheerleader and an avid runner. Her life changed forever on August 23 when she says she got a seasonal flu shot at a local grocery store.
“I was training for a half marathon then,” said Jennings, crying. “It just all went so fast.”
Ten days after receiving the shot, she came down with the flu. After that, her health spiraled downwards. She started passing out and had to be hospitalized twice.
“We went to an urgent care place and they wouldn’t even let her get out of my truck because she was seizing in the back so bad, so they called an ambulance immediately,” says her husband, Brendan Jennings.
Doctors at Fairfax Inova and Johns Hopkins diagnosed her with a rare neurological disorder called dystonia. They think it was caused by a severe reaction to the flu shot.
Desiree now has difficulty speaking, walking, and even eating. During an interview with FOX 5, she had several seizures. The effects are irreversible.