Woman who 'got narcolepsy after vaccine' was left six months without a medical card
A young woman who claims she developed narcolepsy after being administered the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix has highlighted the difficulty in getting her discretionary medical card back.
'Clare' (27), from Wexford but who doesn't want to be identified, was 18 when she decided to get the vaccine.
Within weeks, she was experiencing symptoms of narcolepsy, falling asleep at least once a week in school.
By the time she came to sitting her English Leaving Cert, she fell asleep, failing the exam and dashing her hopes of becoming a teacher.
A few years later, she decided to move to the US in a bid to gain an internship.
"I tried to get enough medication before I travelled, but I could only get three months," said Clare.
Clare got an internship in the US and the company provided her with medical insurance, covering most of the cost of the medication.
When her visa ran out, she had to return home. But on her return, she learned her discretionary medical card had been cancelled.
"There was huge trouble getting it back. I applied online and was refused twice," she said. "I tried to explain I was in a situation where I was entitled to a medical card.
"I was paying €135 a month for six months. That's how long it took to get my medical card back.
"Narcolepsy has completely taken away my independence," she said.
"There's no way on this planet I could live on my own and cope as a normal adult."