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Mom: Daughter paralyzed because of flu shot

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Andre Senior, WTSP

October 31, 2014


(Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

Tampa, Florida – A Bay area mother spends her day caring for a bedridden daughter who can no longer walk and has very little vocabulary. She blames it on the flu vaccine.

"She (used to) love school, she was running, playing signing in the church choir," said Carla Grivna.

In their home in the Town 'N Country area, Grivna says the nightmare started last November when she took her daughter to get her routine flu shot.

Four days after getting the vaccine, Marysue fell ill with a rare viral infection of the brain called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM).

How did an otherwise healthy 9-year-old suddenly become so paralyzed that her father has to carry her?

Her family says it was because of the flu shot.

"It can be triggered by a virus it high fever or by a vaccination," said Grivna.

Mother blames flu shot for daughter's ailments

The disease, which is similar to multiple sclerosis, may appear following vaccination or bacterial infection.

"It can just appear out of the blue or after maybe a surgical procedure, said Dr. Juan Dumois, director of infectious diseases at All Children's Hospital. "It's otherwise unexplainable."

He says developing the illness, for which there is no way to predict or prevent, from a flu shot happens.

With that said, he does not recommend not taking the flu shot because the disease can be contracted that way as well.

"If I get the flu I'm far more likely to get ADEM than from the flu vaccine," said Dumois, who treats a few similar cases at the hospital every year.

He also said that recovery is possible, but many times not likely if improvements are not see within six months after the onset of the initial symptoms.

While most common in children, adults are also susceptible to contracting the disease.

Dumois insists that the number of cases per year is rare with the incidence rate is about 8 per 1,000,000 people per year.

This campaign is raising money for "Help build My Room After A.D.E.M."

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