A Utah mother is claiming that a flu shot is responsible for the recent death of her 19-year-old son.
Chandler Webb received the shot on October 15 during a routine physical, after he had decided to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The day after the exam, Chandler became extremely ill – suffering from vomiting and headaches. A little more than a week later, Chandler slipped into a coma and spent nearly a month on life support at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.
While at the hospital, Chandler underwent a variety tests, but his doctors couldn’t confirm what had caused his illness.
Chandler was eventually taken off life support and died early Tuesday morning. His mother, Lori Webb, said that his direct cause of death was swelling of the brain – something she believes was the result of an adverse reaction to the influenza vaccination.
"What attacked his brain happened so quickly within 15 hours," Webb said on Fox and Friends. "From one CT scan to the next, there was so much pressure and swelling on the brain that it crushed his brain stem."
According to a report from the Salt Lake Tribune, Webb has declined an autopsy, as she believes that a pending brain biopsy will reveal Chandler’s cause of death. A spokesperson for Intermountain told the Tribune that Chandler’s doctors are legally prohibited from speaking about his case.
Tom Hudachko, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Health, said that the agency is aware of Chandler’s death, but they cannot verify whether or not it was caused by the flu shot. Hudachko said the department has no record of any Utah residents ever dying from the flu shot and that reactions to the vaccine are incredibly rare.
"Like with other medical procedures, there can be side effects and adverse reactions," he said. "In the vast majority of those cases the side effects are not very severe — soreness at the injection site, low fever, achiness. Occasionally, yes, there are more severe side effects from receiving the vaccine."
Webb said before getting the shot, her son was very healthy and had a very positive outlook on life. She maintained she isn’t trying to discourage others from getting the flu shot, but she hopes people will educate themselves about the possible side effects of the vaccine.
"[Chandler] didn't deserve this," Webb said on Fox and Friends. "His last words before he crashed into his coma was, 'Doctors, save me.'"