Thousands of people in the U.K. have reported suffering serious adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine Injured and Bereaved U.K. (VIBUK) is a group of individuals injured or bereaved by the Covid vaccines (with medical or coroners reports confirming this) campaigning for a change to the current Government vaccine damage payment scheme (VDPS) to create a bespoke COVID-19 compensation scheme that ensures the adversely affected are appropriately compensated and supported. They also want people similarly affected by the vaccines to know that help is available and for their stories to be heard and not ignored. This is Tony’s story as told by VIBUK and reprinted here. VIBUK can be found on Twitter and contacted here.
Back in March 2021, 58 year-old father of two Anthony Shingler from Northwood was getting on with life enjoying his job as a security manager (admittedly stressful at times, he says, but it came with the job and he learned to live with it). He received a text from his doctors surgery with the date and time for his Covid vaccination, which he duly attended. Little did he know of the consequences that would unfold as he followed the Government advice that the vaccine would “protect yourself and others”.
Tony had his first and only AstraZeneca vaccine on March 5th 2021.
Within the first week following his vaccination he started to feel aches and pains, mostly in his legs. During the second week things were getting worse. He managed with work commitments up to the Friday, the end of his working week, but that Friday morning he was really having trouble walking and developed pins and needles and numbness in his feet and hands.
Tony was sent home by ‘Heath and Safety’ to get checked out by his GP. After ringing the surgery and being told they would contact him the next day, Tony and his wife Nicola decided to attend the local walk-in centre, who assessed him sent and him to hospital A&E. Following assessment, the hospital sent him home, saying he had an allergy. Tony has never had an allergy in his life, so found this odd. The next day he started to decline even further. Nicola called an ambulance which took Tony to hospital again; this time they discharged him with sciatica. He’d had sciatica before, so knew how this felt, which was not what he was experiencing, and what to do to diagnose it, which no one in the hospital had done.
Tony returned home, still not knowing why he was feeling so ill and could hardly walk. That same night he had tremendous lower back pain and by the morning he could hardly walk or breathe and could barely talk. Another ambulance was called; on this occasion they encountered a very abrupt and argumentative female paramedic, who didn’t want to listen to Nicola, which caused avoidable stress. On Tony’s third visit to hospital they finally admitted him after Nicola begged an A&E doctor over the phone to investigate transverse myelitis – she had researched and found this had temporarily halted the AstraZeneca trials. He was put on an assessment ward and monitored.
An MRI scan and lumber puncture revealed high proteins in CSF fluid. After asking the doctor what could cause this, he replied: “Double the amount of proteins leads me to believe the vaccine.” Doctors then examined Tony’s medical records and informed Tony: “We believe after reading thoroughly through your medical records and seeing that you have not suffered any previous viral infections, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is a vaccine related illnesses called GBS or Guillain-Barré Syndrome.”
After five days in the assessment ward and having intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), Tony continued to deteriorate; the condition was now massively affecting his arms and lungs. Tony was assisted to phone home and was told to “say what you’ve got to say, as it may be the last time you see them” – words no one ever wants to hear.
Tony was rushed into ICU and fitted with a tracheotomy and ventilated, along with the insertion of a feeding peg and catheter. Tony pulled through but the battle wasn’t over.
This was the beginning of eight and half months in ICU. During Tony’s stay he had a collapsed lung, pneumonia and MRSA numerous times, all whilst being paralysed from the chin down, unable to talk or move. It was a constant battle which played havoc with his mental well-being, on top of the Guillain-Barré Syndrome which caused burning pain all over his body as nerves throughout had been stripped of their protective cover.
One evening, during the summer of 2021, Tony noticed one of the fire escape doors in ICU was slightly ajar. He didn’t give it a second thought as the nurses did this on a regular basis whilst it was warm weather, and he always needed a fan on next to his bed due to the burning hot sensations he was suffering. Out of nowhere, a man walked in through the fire escape and walked towards his bed. At the foot of his bed he was met by a nurse and Tony heard him say, “You made me do this”. He then proceeded to stick a knife into his own chest and died. Later, a nurse was asked to speak with Tony to find out what he saw; the same nurse also spoke with Nicola, saying there had been an incident and they were concerned about Tony’s well-being. Tony told his wife about it; he didn’t think much about it at the time as he was in so much pain, but looking back at that moment, Tony was very vulnerable, he couldn’t defend himself and this continues to haunt him.
On another occasion, a stand-in nurse entered the room to see if Tony was alright and introduce herself. She checked his tracheotomy and Tony then realised she had placed a plastic cap on it; she didn’t realise but she had blocked his airway. As Tony couldn’t move or talk, panic set in and he quickly became stressed as he couldn’t breathe, but the nurse only realised after she heard him gasping for air. Fortunately, she stayed in the room and hadn’t just walked out not seeing him struggling to breathe. These traumatic events will haunt Tony forever.
IVIG treatment initially had no effect on bringing Tony out of the syndrome, and after some discussion between Nicola and the doctors, plasma exchange was the next treatment to be tried to stop the GBS from travelling above his bottom lip.
After seven and a half months, Tony was transferred to ICU respiratory. He was told by one of the doctors they were looking for a long term respiratory unit for him because he was still ventilated and there’s usually not much recovery of the lungs after that amount of time being ventilated. He still doesn’t know how it happened, but his body started to react to the tracheotomy, he started to cough past it, which the physio said shouldn’t be happening. He had nerve tests on his lungs and eventually, after a lot of hard work by the physios, he finally had the tracheotomy removed and could eat and drink again. After eight months of not tasting anything he says his first taste of hospital food was fantastic – and he never thought he would say that!
It was now November 2021 and he had a date to move to a physio rehab hospital. At this point he was still being hoisted out of bed because of his paralysed state. Eventually he started to twitch his fingers and raise his hand slightly whilst resting his arm on his leg. Over the months this progressed, and he remembers the day the physios wanted him to stand with the help of a standing hoist. The pain in his calf muscles was horrendous, but he says he just kept thinking to himself, “no pain no gain”.
The months went by, the physio kept coming, and over time Tony managed to sit on the edge of the bed then progressed to standing with different lifting equipment and frames.
The day came after 14 months in hospital care for Tony to return home for good, after first going home on the odd days and then returning to hospital. One hiccup was that the local council said it was unable to pay for or fit a stair lift for him, without which doctors said it would be an unsafe discharge, but eventually one was supplied by a charity.
Tony’s discharge date was decided. He was in a ward on his own until two days before his discharge when they admitted two new patients. Unbeknown to Tony the one next to him had Covid and Tony caught it. He had two days of headaches and a temperature but then began recovering, although he had to stay in for a further 10 days in isolation.
Tony finally got home on May 17th 2022. He is still using walking aides to get round the house, getting used to the things he used to be able to do but now can’t.
After eight weeks, Tony walked on the outside patio with his frame, but unfortunately lost his balance and fell to the floor. After waiting an extraordinary 14 hours for an ambulance, which arrived the following day(!), he was taken to hospital again. An X-ray revealed a fractured hip; a metal plate and three screws later he was back in a hospital bed. Luckily, he was home within a week and he is now fully recovered from his fractured hip. However the GBS remains and physio carries on. His hands have suffered some form of osteoporosis and his knuckles have locked and don’t move so he has trouble holding most things – pens, coins, clothing etc. He still has nerve damage in the bottom of his legs and feet, for which he has to wear orthopaedic straps to hold his feet in place as the muscles and nerves are still weak and cause drop foot. He suffers with swelling of the lower limbs due to the insufficient working of the pumps in the legs to remove fluid.
He has progressed to crutches and a wheelchair for longer distances as he gets fatigued really easily. Tony takes one day at a time now and those precious moments he says he embraces more than ever before. Without the support of Nicola and his family he’s sure he would not have made it.
Nicola then had to begin the battle with the Government vaccine damage payment scheme (VDPS), which dragged on for 16 months before he was finally awarded a payout. Tony and Nicola were shocked to learn he wasn’t alone and how many people have been affected by all sorts of adverse reactions after having the vaccine. It infuriates Tony to know how hard Nicola had to fight for any recognition and compensation. This is a battle all VIBUK members are having to fight.
Nicola now plays a huge part in VIBUK, collating medical reports, new findings and news articles for research purposes which aids the group in offering advice, guidance and support. Since Tony was discharged from hospital he has been keen to speak to journalists and media sources about the trauma that he and his family have faced, but has been saddened by how few journalists are willing to tell his story and report on Covid vaccine injuries, though some newspapers, particularly tabloids, have done so. He was glad of the opportunity to appear on a special edition of the Mark Steyn show on GB News, where Mark was joined by fellow presenters Neil Oliver, Dan Wootton and Michelle Dewberry and Sir Christopher Chope MP, to hear members of VIBUK tell their stories.