A ONE-in-100,000 chance reaction to a Covid vaccination left Kerry Hurt in a life-threatening coma for more than three weeks.
After months in hospital, she is now recovering in the Kiveton Park home she shares with husband Patrick and sons Jordan and Callum — but costly conversion work is required to enable her to remain there.
Kerry, a 49-year-old team manager for a bank, went for her first AstraZeneca jab in April as part of the Government’s coronavirus protection programme.
Around a week, later she started to suffer severe headaches and was unable to stand bright lights.
After being told to book an eye appointment her condition worsened, she rang 111 and was advised to go straight to A&E at Rotherham Hospital.
A scan revealed a blood clot in her head and Kerry was immediately sent to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital, where it was confirmed she had suffered an extremely rare reaction known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thromoccytopenia, which involves developing blood clots with low platelet counts. A normal count is between 150 and 300 — Kerry’s was six.
Four days later, her family was given the news that unless emergency surgery was carried out, she would not make it through the night and, even then, there was a less than 40 per cent chance of survival.
A large piece of Kerry’s skull was removed to allow the brain to swell and relieve the pressure and after four hours in surgery, she was put into an induced coma to recover.
Patrick (52), a production operative for Forticrete Ltd in Kiveton Park, said: “These blood clots are more aggressive and are more likely to cause death or severe disability, even with early diagnosis and treatment.
“It is an incredibly hard condition to treat as the immune system effectively works against itself and is thought to occur to less than one in 100,000.
“She is only alive due to the amazing skill and dedication of the Hallamshire neuro team and nurses, something we will never forget or be able to thank them enough for.”
Three days after the operation, surgeons became concerned with another build-up of pressure and carried out another lifesaving procedure by fitting a drain in Kerry’s brain, during which she suffered a massive stroke and mild brain damage.
Her family was told to prepare for the worst as it was not clear how well she would be when she gained consciousness — or how severe her disabilities would be.
A week later, an internal shunt was fitted, which allowed the brain to drain internally on its own.
Kerry then faced three weeks on a life support machine after being transferred back to Rotherham Hospital, where she spent a further four-and-a-half months.
Now she is back in her Osborne Road home and continuing her costly recovery process.
Her conservatory has undergone a £4,000 conversion into a bedroom and wetroom. Specialist furniture costing £2,700 has been purchased and Kerry requires round-the-clock care, faces the prospect of never working again and being confined to a wheelchair after losing most of the use of her left hand side due to the stroke.
Patrick — currently off work to care for Kerry — said: “Both our employers have been unbelievably supportive but this cannot continue indefinitely and we face an uncertain future with the possibility of neither of us being able to work again.”
The Government’s vaccine support scheme can offer up to £120,000 to claimants who have suffered at least 60 per cent disability after complications from an officially endorsed vaccine, but the family have yet to hear if their claim has been successful and — even if it is — it would equate to less than two years’ income for the pair.
A charity casino night has been organised at the Station Hotel in Kiveton Park on November 6 and a GoFundMe page — gofund.me/ca069c16 — is receiving great support.
Patrick added: “This is to help with some of the costs we are incurring through having our lives turned upside down overnight and we are currently receiving nothing from the Government.
“We are by no way anti-vaccination peddlers. The programme has saved thousands of lives and allowed millions to go on with their lives as near to normal as possible.
“But those who have suffered whilst doing as they were asked for the good of all, should surely now be supported, too.”