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Cat Parker, V*ccine Survivor

Cat Parker had to be her own health advocate before she could advocate for other people. Like others who’ve had an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, she followed her gut and didn’t just push her symptoms under the generic rug of menopause like some of her doctors suggested.

Cat, 50, of Plymouth, Minnesota, is a freelance photographer/photojournalist who used to be employed as an office and project manager for a commercial construction company. But she got very sick after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021 and was laid off from her job not long after.

A month after getting the vaccine, Cat had chronic insomnia and fatigue. Neither she nor her health care providers connected the vaccine to those symptoms, so she got the Pfizer booster shot in November 2021. Her symptoms only grew worse, and she began experiencing hair loss, tremors, tinnitus, brain fog, body aches, sores on her face, and an imbalance leading her to fall.

“Every time I’d go to the doctor, they’d try to explain it away,” Cat said, her southern accent from growing up in Sylvania, GA, getting a bit thicker as she talks about how doctors treated her. “It’s your medication, or menopause, or stress,” they told her.

Suspecting that her illness was related to the vaccine, Cat eventually discovered she was right, receiving a diagnosis of dysautonomia syndrome, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system function, as well as many other medical disorders.

“I used to travel, and we’d go on rock cruises, concerts, festivals, vacations, visit friends or family, and so much more. I just don’t do these things anymore because I’m chronically fatigued, nauseated, or my body and brain shuts down and I can’t function,” she said.

Fortunately, she has family living with her, including an adult daughter and son, to help if needed. “My daughter has been a huge blessing to me. She helps take care of me and is there for me no matter what,” Cat said.

Cat’s life before and after getting the vaccine and its accompanying adverse reactions are like the difference between a groggy night and a clear day. In the mornings she has brain fog for hours and a tendency to fall. She also has narcolepsy, which causes her to fall asleep at a desk or when driving. She has health insurance through her state, but she has no job, no money coming in, and she was denied disability.

Yet through all these difficulties Cat trusts in God. “If I didn’t still have my faith, I wouldn’t still be here,” she said.

To those who aren’t close to the plight of vaccine-injured people, the group might seem like a very small part of the population, and thus unimportant, especially when so many have ostensibly benefited from the COVID-19 vaccine. “Tell that to the more than 6.8 million people who are vaccine-injured or died because of the shot—plus those who were injured or died from it but were not reported,” Cat said. “It’s sickening to me. I trusted our government. I don’t trust the government anymore.”

Cat believes that the reason why no one is seeing this information is because it is being censored by the CDC and social media platforms, classified as misinformation. She noted that people like her are called anti-vax and ridiculed daily by others. Such attitudes have made her lose faith in mankind.

Having spoken with many doctors about her condition, Cat is familiar with a phenomenon in the medical community that treats vaccine-injured people. “Doctors are supposed to be reporting vaccine injury cases to VAERS. But they’ve been told not to talk, or they’ll lose their job and their license,” Cat said. “Then you have the ones that flat out do not believe you and tell you there is no way that the vaccine is the cause. I ask them if they are willing to put their lives and career on this.”

Some people have made the issue of the vaccine-injured a political thing, even though it’s really a medical issue, Cat noted. “You wouldn’t do this to someone with cancer or heart disease,” she said.

Despite her health-related obstacles, Cat’s advocacy is growing. She recently started a vaccine-injured support group on Facebook and an uncensored support group on  TrialSite News. She’s also involved with React-19.org. She suggests that others who want to help the cause should get involved.

Cat says others who fear they may be vaccine-injured should be tenacious in finding out if they are indeed ill because of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Cat said. “Explain it to your doctor, have them run tests, and if that doesn’t help, find another doctor. … Do not hide. Stand up for yourself.”

Image Credit: Cat Parker

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