A WA State Woman’s Struggle with J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Injury

by Bernadette Pajer and “R”

In an effort to keep up with details and to make this post as concise as possible, this post has been updated to include new information and to streamline details.

On March 25, I received an email from a woman in WA State who gave me permission to share her story. I will refer to her as R to protect her privacy. She wants her story to be about healing, and when she eventually speaks publicly, a story of hope. Because of her request, this has become living documentation to update with the latest information.

ARPIL 21, 2021 UPDATE. I reached out to R for an update:

R expressed that she is encouraged about reports that Johnson & Johnson “will update its Covid-19 vaccine leaflet to include information about how to diagnose and manage rare blood clots.” EU regulator finds possible link between Johnson & Johnson vaccine and blood clots, but says benefits outweigh risks (msn.com)

R was concerned initially that her reports were not making it through. If adverse reaction reports are lost, that information cannot reach clinicians to know how to help when something goes wrong. She is hopeful that the medical professionals she is working with now are receiving more information. She acknowledged that no vaccine in trial phase or after FDA approval can be rolled out with zero adverse reactions. But when something goes wrong, accurate data needs to be collected and retained, and clinicians need to have access to that data and be alerted. 

R asked me to express her gratitude for pointing her to CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity Webinar as part of the CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response:  Webinar April 15, 2021 – Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia – Update for Clinicians on Early Detection and Treatment (cdc.gov). 

This shows R that there was movement in alerting clinicians and offering transparency. She wouldn’t have known about the call without me sharing it with her. 

As of this update, R still has concerns about V-Safe. 

A CDC team analyzed V-Safe Data for the mRNA vaccines and published on April 5. They claim that “v-safe does allow participants to enter free-text information about their post vaccination experience and asks about adverse health events (eg, received medical care). Medically attended events are followed up on through active telephone outreach” but that was not R’s experience. The authors also state that “future analyses will address these adverse vaccine experiences” and that “Limitations of v-safe include voluntary participation via an opt-in smartphone-based system that includes less than 10% of vaccinated persons.” (emphasis added)]

While R believes systems were created to help if something goes wrong during trial, she believes there is a breakdown in the system that may go unnoticed unless a crisis occurs.

After well over a dozen appointments (including multiple Emergency Room, and Urgent Care visits), tests have ruled out all potential underlying health conditions. Her most recent review of results this week showed no current blood clots. The most recent medical appointment said that does not remove the possibility blot clots existed early on before medical professionals knew what to look for over a month ago. 

Doctors have described her continued symptoms to this day as most parallel to what they see in people who have been diagnosed with:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Concussion
  • Ongoing TIAs (mini strokes that could explain difficulty speaking, moving)
  • Previously had blood clots (drops in blood pressure, chest pain, racing heart)
  • Long COVID 

There is currently no diagnosis for what R is experiencing other than “adverse effect of  vaccination,” listed on ER, Neurological, and Infectious Disease records after visits. 

Her symptoms should not be a surprise. NIH says in Coronavirus and the Nervous System | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (nih.gov): “Most side effects of the vaccine may feel like flu and are temporary and go away within a day or two. In early vaccine development, there were extremely rare reports of unexplained neurological illness following COVID-19 vaccination, but regulators found no evidence the vaccines caused the illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate any report of adverse consequences of the vaccine and none have appeared as of yet.”

If R’s experience is happening to others, how will the FDA “continue to investigate any report or adverse consequences of the vaccine.” The only reason she knew her case numbers were not visible in the system is because she called to add new symptoms. That is when she was told the records she reported could not even be found in the system. 

R was willing to let me share her story early because she was concerned that people were not aware of the potential rare adverse reactions as medical professionals helped people weigh personal risks. Now that news has been released alerting clinicians, she does not feel the need to share the details of her original story, but prefers to focus on the updates and progress. CDC advised people early on to seek medical advice if they previously experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine as she had: Information about COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Allergies | CDC. If the range of potential risk factors are not transparent, it is difficult for doctors to advise individuals based on the full range of data.

She was determined to reach out to all the appropriate paths listed while the vaccine is authorized for emergency use before FDA approval. She expressed how challenging it has been to navigate the structures in place for rare severe adverse reactions. She realizes the structures were not working to help her, but hopes that her alerting others can make a difference for people who come after her.  

From her first communication with me, she expressed major challenges in receiving help. On the 37th day after injection, when she reached out to the Governor’s office after trying all other pathways, Governor Inslee’s office expressed concern and helped her connect directly with someone who was able to provide next steps through the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) project  Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project | CISA | Monitoring | Ensuring Safety | Vaccine Safety | CDC .  This contact connected with her primary care physician this week. CISA project connects clinicians with others who have been more involved in vaccine research or treatment for rare adverse reactions and can help guide primary care physicians to recommend next steps. R believes it is crucial that clinicians are made aware of this program. 

R has learned that one of the major challenges for Emergency Room, Urgent Care, and Primary Care Physicians is not having access to the data in clinical trials to know a full range of potentially rare reactions or what to look for. This may be compounded by the amount of information they are trying to balance about ongoing updates with the pandemic and new treatments along with their standard care. R reported that at each location, she was identified as the first person medical professionals encountered who received the J&J vaccine, and the first they encountered with severe adverse reaction. She has been told she has helped them learn along the way and this will help others. This has given R some comfort. 

While she still appears to have a long road to recovery ahead of her since receiving the vaccination in March, multiple healthcare providers she saw this week believe her prognosis is good for recovery with neuro rehabilitation and time. 

Excerpt from Original Post on April 8, 2021:

A journalist had reached out to R for an unrelated story, but upon learning that she was not well enough to talk, their conversation shifted to R’s vaccine adverse reaction. R asked if the journalist knew of any person to contact for help or information about vaccine injury, and the journalist connected her with me.

As a woman of science, who supports vaccination, R wants her experience to add to the body of knowledge and data that is so important for phases of vaccine trial during authorization for emergency use and safety improvements in both administration and product design, including messaging. 

ICWA and the Medical Freedom Community are grateful to R; the details she is providing are helping our vaccine-risk-aware doctors and scientists who are studying COVID-19 vaccine mechanisms of injury. These doctors and scientists have shared their ideas about healing protocols with R so that she can talk them over with her health care providers. These protocols are based on their past experience treating vaccine injuries and the latest information about the COVID-19 spike protein and the other vaccine ingredients. Several doctors have recommended hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) for R’s brain inflammation, and IV-nutrients, as well as other protocols, which she has brought up with her health care providers.

R slightly edited her original March 25 email to improve clarity, remove personal details, and account for updates.

I and ICWA thank R for reaching out to us and for sharing these details. We all send our hopes and prayers for a full recovery.

There’s very little out there that I can find. I am still dealing with neurological symptoms 11 days after my injection, in March. CDC hasn’t reached out. Public Health nurses didn’t know what to do. None of the medical professionals I’ve reached out have known what to do, understandably, because the vaccine is so new. Some have been willing to write symptoms and said they would look to see what they could find. One said they don’t report adverse reactions and people need to do that themselves. I showed a screen shot from VAERS that said healthcare professionals should report and provided the link.

Yesterday, I tried to look for people interviewed in articles and reach out to them because I didn’t know where else to turn. 

…While three other people I know were vaccinated on the same day with the same vaccine on the same site, I was the only one who had severe adverse reactions… 

I found an article that suggested – women and young people, as well as those who have been diagnosed previously with COVID-19 have seemed to have more reactions: COVID vaccine side effects: Women, young people report more (today.com) 

People like me who have taken the vaccine are clearly not against vaccines, because they took the vaccine. 

I chose to find a site that administered the J&J because it was a single dose and if I had a negative response, I would be considered fully vaccinated. If I had a two-dose vaccine and couldn’t take the second due to an adverse reaction, I would not be able to take the second dose and wouldn’t be considered fully vaccinated. The doctors I have spoken with said the severity of my reaction to a second vaccine in my life may call into question whether I will be able to take any booster (or even any other vaccine) in the future. I am trying to find out if there was any commonality between the DPT vaccine reaction that I also experienced brain swelling and a high fever after receiving so I can know what to avoid and what I can take in the future. 

I was taking the vaccine for others. As brain swelling or inflammation was not listed as a consideration or potential adverse reaction, I weighed my risk in terms of chance for not getting brain swelling if I experienced COVID if I had vaccine protection. 

I wanted to be a model for people that it could be safe even if allergic reaction occurred and need to be treated on site, but now I feel like I’m not able to even be the role model I hoped to be. If you know anyone you can connect me with, I would appreciate it. I realize if I was in an official trial, I would have had closer monitoring and medical professionals to help along the way who are more in the loop of what is going on with others in a trial (vs. a PCP who hasn’t been able to learn about it or watch the trials). Because I am essentially in phase 4 trials, I don’t know who to turn to for help. The cardiologist said submitting the V-safe and VAERS form with even just the 104.8 fever should have alerted someone to reach out and ask me to come to the hospital to monitor. 

Even if you don’t know who to connect with, hopefully any of this will add a puzzle piece during the time other people are getting vaccinated.

Thank you,


In her search for information, she found a Seattle Times article from December that expressed concerns that injury claims from COVID-19 vaccines would be under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, “which was set up specifically to deal with vaccines under emergency authorization, has just four employees and few hallmarks of an ordinary court. Decisions are made in secret by government officials, claimants can’t appeal to a judge.” The article continued, “experts are concerned that with the sheer volume of people expected to get coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. — more than 200 million — even a successful rollout with relatively few ill effects could be enough to swamp the program. What’s more, such cases are complex and it’s often hard to prove a direct link between claims of illness and a vaccine.”

R has been learning first hand how difficult it can be to even get a diagnosis, let alone medical help when a vaccine is still in trial phase prior to FDA approval. 

While billions were spent to develop the vaccines, and billions are being spent to promote them, ICWA has been unable to locate evidence that the federal government spent any time or resources preparing to medically assist the injured, other than issuing guidance for injection sites to be prepared to handle cases of anaphylaxis.

On February 4, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services placed all COVID-19 vaccines under the Prep Act, shielding the entities and individuals involved in the development, manufacture, testing, distribution, administration, and use of COVID-19 vaccines from liability for any injuries and deaths. One of the tragic omissions of the Prep Act is that it doesn’t ensure that those reporting adverse reactions are properly medically supported.

The science of vaccine injury (and deaths) has been ignored for decades, and our medical system teaches physicians how to overcome vaccine “hesitancy” not how to recognize, diagnose, or treat vaccine injuries. What we are witnessing with the rollout of the EUA COVID-19 vaccines is not completely new, but the scale of it dwarfs anything seen before.

Thank you for reading this lengthy and critically important post. I ask you now to take action. Please share this post with your legislators, with doctors, with those administering vaccines, and with your friends and neighbors. Please support R on her injury and healing journey by sharing her story and let’s all work to fulfill her hope of improving the scientific integrity of this vaccine rollout.