WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls woman is still at United Regional after suffering a blood clot she says doctors have connected to the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
53-year-old Tamara Graham would be one of only around 15 people diagnosed in the U.S. so far.
April 23 is a day Graham will never forget.
“It was awful. it was. it was. I can only imagine how people feel when they get the news of cancer. I mean I cried. I was devastated, and scared,” Graham said.
On the same day the CDC announced its recommendation lifting the pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Graham says doctors told her that what she was experiencing was more than a headache.
“We had discussed what I had done. How long it had been. Had a cat scan on Thursday. and an MRI on Friday. Went back to work and the next thing I know I’m being told to come here to ER. I’ve got a clot.”
Initially, hesitant to get the shot, Graham says she got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to help the people she works with every day.
“I run, I manage an assisted living in town, and I did it for my residents because they want to have visitors. I want the building to be open. I want to do the right thing. I had no intentions on it but I did it,” Graham said.
After weeks of post vaccine headaches, an electrical shock sent Graham to the doctor’s office.
“My body. My doctor said my body did this for me, gave me the electrical current, which says that was probably the clot. Ya know the headaches was the clot building, the electricity was the clot.”
Graham credit doctors and staff at United Regional Hospital for springing into action with treatments to save her life.
“I was on a heparin drip which is a blood thinner and now I’ve been weaned off that and now I’m going to take an oral blood thinner but they are still keeping me in the hospital because they don’t know.”
All while never thinking doctors would tell her she is only the 15th patient to experience clotting out of nearly seven million recipients.
“When they said there was six people. I said that was crazy, birth control causes more problems than this, in my mind, but now that I’m a part of the number. I’m like oh my gosh, let’s not do this.”
Two steps forward and one step back as the race to vaccinate continues.