Published January 14, 2015
A woman suffering from a severe muscle disorder, which she says was brought on by a seasonal flu shot she recently received, completed an eight kilometer race in Virginia Saturday.
Desiree Jennings, 25, suffers from dystonia, causing her to struggle with simple tasks such as walking forward. She says the muscle disorder suddenly surfaced about ten days after she received her flu shot in August.
Jennings now finds eating very challenging and suffers from seizures.
Before she became sick, Jennings was an active cheerleader for the Washington Redskins.
Now she cannot walk forward without great difficulty or her muscles twitching in different directions.
Jennings says her condition is worsening. “My neck and tongue are not moving anymore,” Jennings told reporters before the race, according to MyFOXDC. “They’re paralyzed … that started yesterday.”
Still, she says she is able to feel like her old self again when she runs, which is the only time her muscular disorder does not give her any trouble. She can also walk backwards without much trouble.
Friends assisted Jennings at the start of the race by physically supporting her on each side as she progressed into a run. Once she got her stride, she was fine to run the race solo. She crossed the finish line in under an hour.
The FDA says there have been no other reports of such severe reactions to the batch of flu vaccine that Jennings received, according to MyFOXDC.
George Washington University Immunology Researcher Peter Hotez says flu shots are safe, according to MyFOXDC.
But Jennings does not feel the same way. She is placing all of her hope in her doctors, and physicians from “Generation Rescue,” to help figure out a way to stop the progression of her disabling condition.