Father on Life Support After Getting Flu Shot, Family Blames Vaccine
Las Vegas man develops Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) leaving him unable to move or speak
A Las Vegas father has been hospitalized in a critical condition after receiving his flu shot, which his wife blames for her husband's life-threatening condition.
Shane Morgan is currently on life-support in the Intensive Care Unit after contracting a rare disorder that has left him unable to move or speak, in need of a ventilator to breathe, and having to be fed through a tube.
Shane has developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which Monique Morgan says her husband Shane contracted "as a result" of the influenza vaccine which he received on Nov. 2.
"36 hours afterwards, he developed flu-like symptoms," said Mrs. Morgan.
Just over a week later on November 14, Morgan says her husband was asking for help.
"He's like I can't feel my legs... I need you to take me to the emergency room," said Morgan.
Shane has been hospitalized since then, and a medical professional says this could be a rare disorder that's known to be linked to the flu vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages their nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
GBS can cause symptoms that usually last for a few weeks. Most people recover fully from GBS, but some people have long-term nerve damage.
In very rare cases, people have died of GBS, usually from difficulty breathing.
In the United States, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS each year.
"In all my years of practice, I had only seen one case of this," Dr. Daliah Wachs told KMTV.
Wachs, who is not treating Shane, spoke about how the flu shot triggers GBS, saying that the vaccine doesn't carry it, but causes your body to develop it.
"You can't get that from a flu shot," said Dr. Wachs.
"A flu shot will not inject anything into you, Guillain-Barré is your body's response to a flu shot or a pathogen."
Dr. Wachs says if you have a history of GBS, talk to your doctor.
But medical professionals still urge the general public to get vaccinated.
"We don't want anyone scared to get the flu shot because the flu shot saves lives," she said.
"I've seen more GBS from people getting the flu than from people getting the flu shot."
While she waits for her husband to recover, Morgan says her goal is to educate the public about this disorder.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the exact cause of GBS is unknown, but about two-thirds of people who develop GBS experience symptoms several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a respiratory illness.
Infection with the bacterium Campylobacter Jejuni is one of the most common risk factors for GBS.
People also can develop GBS after having the flu or other infections (such as cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus).
On very rare occasions, they may develop GBS in the days or weeks after getting a vaccination.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with the family's compounding medical bills.
The Morgans welcomed baby Briar only 8 months ago and this will be his first Christmas as the family anticipates a long road to recovery.
A statement on the GoFundMe page reads:
Shane is suffering from a condition called Guillain Barre Syndrome.
It developed as the result of a flu shot he received on November 2nd.
He is currently in ICU and is unable to move or speak. He is on a ventilator and feeding tube.
He has already been in the hospital for a week and there is no end in sight. Medical expenses are compounding and once he is out of the hospital, he is looking at a long recovery.
Shane is a loving husband, father and friend and one of the hardest working people I know.
The Morgan family welcomed Briar only 8 months ago and this will be his first Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They are not the type of people to ask for help. I know this is a difficult time of year for a lot of people but anything helps and is greatly appreciated.
If you are unable to donate, I ask that you pray for a speedy recovery for Shane so this family can be reunited.
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