Monday 19 February 2018

Teenager left 'suicidal' by sleep disorder after getting swine flu vaccine at age 10

Kellie O’Gorman with her mother Jackie McMahon. Photo: Liam Burke
Kellie O’Gorman with her mother Jackie McMahon. Photo: Liam Burke

David Raleigh

A Limerick teenager has told how she felt she had no option but to try and end her life after struggling with an incurable sleep disorder linked to the swine flu vaccine, H1N1.

Kellie O'Gorman (17) said she believed she had "no way out" and, at her lowest moment a few weeks ago, took a cocktail of medication.

She is one of 80 Irish children diagnosed with the incurable sleep disorder narcolepsy, after receiving the H1N1 swine flu vaccine in 2009.

Read more: State fights claims by children with narcolepsy after swine flu jab

She also developed cataplexy, whereby her muscles can collapse without warning.

Now she has decided to speak out in the hope that she and others like her will get more help.

"I took the pills, and, if I woke up, I promised myself that someone would listen," she said.

Kellie received the vaccine when she was 10 and soon after noticed problems. A keen camogie player before the vaccine, she has been forced to give up on her dream to play for her county.

"My knees started to buckle. Then I started falling asleep all the time," she said.

"It has stolen everything from me, all my teenage years, my childhood, my family, my confidence, my friends," said Kellie.

The Department of Health said in a statement: "The Health Products Regulatory Authority has received a number of reports with clinical information confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy in individuals who were vaccinated with pandemic influenza vaccine."

The State has indicated it will fight 60 claims for compensation already filed in the courts. Later this week an order will be sought in the High Court for discovery of documents from the department and the vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithcline (GSK).

Irish Independent

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