A Canadian man was approved to receive federal benefits this month after he suffered a catastrophic adverse reaction following his first Covid jab.
Okanagan resident Ross Wightman, 40, became paralyzed from the waist down after he received the AstraZeneca jab in spring 2021.
“Just days after getting the shot, he started to experience extreme back pain,” reports GlobalNews.ca.
“The pain got worse and worse,” Wightman admitted.
Doctors diagnosed Wightman with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a known vaccine adverse reaction characterized by the CDC as an “autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.”
Wightman, who now requires leg braces to walk, described his injuries to CTVNews.ca, saying, “I have no muscle or nerve movement or activity below my knees at this point.”
“Both hands as you can see they’re curled in and I don’t have a lot of wrist strength. That makes obviously doing pretty much everything a challenge,” he said, adding he also suffered temporary full facial paralysis.
Despite applying for benefits last year, Wightman says the Canadian government only just recently approved his claim for compensation through the Vaccine Injury Support Program.
The program was set up last year to compensate victims injured by vaccines approved by Health Canada.
According to stats on their website, the Vaccine Injury Support Program has received 774 reports of injuries, but thus far has only approved 8 to be paid out.
Wightman recalled being fairly persistent in seeking compensation from the program.
“It’s indicative of our persistence with the program. Every week or every two weeks, phoning, emailing, ‘what’s happening,’” he told GlobalNews. “Do you have all the paperwork you need? Has this doctor sent you this file?”
While he’s glad his benefits were approved, Wightman says the amount he receives is nowhere near what he used to make in his previous job as a realtor, work he’s unsure he’ll ever return to.
“Everyone has a lifestyle that they’re used to or have to budget towards, you know, especially with kids and what-not,” he told GlobalNews.ca.
“And so that’s going to be something that we’re going to have to kind of figure out, where to go from there.”
In the meantime, Wightman says he’s focusing on getting better and being a positive role model for his wife and boys.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, “Most people eventually make a full recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome, but this can sometimes take a long time and around 1 in 5 people have long-term problems.”
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