Flu Shot Causes Cheerleader Desiree Jennings to Walk Backwards
Desiree Jennings, a 25 year-old would-be-cheerleader for the Washington Redskins, claims a seasonal flu shot has disabled her to the point that she can only walk backwards and run normally but due to a severe muscle disorder, Dystonia, she cannot walk forward without suffering spasms. Ten days after receiving her seasonal flu shot Jennings says she began shaking and could no longer walk in a straight line.
Jennings went to her local Safeway for the vaccine after her job offered incentives for receiving it but she preceded to get sick, lethargic, and black out until she visited neurologists who diagnosed her with a one-in-a-million reaction the the vaccine, Dystonia.
"I was hoping for Lyme, praying for lupus, even Graves' disease," she said. "Unfortunately they were all ruled out."
Finally, doctors at Johns Hopkins figured it out, diagnosing dystonia, a rare neurological condition with no cure brought on by infections, brain trauma or, as is believed in her case, reaction to medication. It causes body jerks and abnormal or repetitive movements.
Jennings now has trouble with the most basic of tasks: eating, talking, and walking but the cheerleading-hopeful is making the best out of the situation, completing an 8 km run with the help of her friends in under an hour.
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.
While no other cases of Dystonia have popped up in relation to flu shots, Jennings is adamant that it was the vaccine that caused the debilitating disorder. But celebrity couple Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey are reaching out to Jennings providing her with doctors and physicians from McCarthy's research organization Generation Rescue.