Melle Stewart was rushed to hospital after suffering a stroke that left her unable to speak and paralysed the right side of her body. The incident occurred just two weeks after receiving her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in May. Further tests revealed ms Stewart had suffered vaccine-induced thrombocytopenic thrombosis (VITT). But despite her plight, the 40-year-old still advocates vaccination against the coronavirus, saying she simply ended up “on the wrong side of the lottery”.
Recalling the events of that night, her husband explained: “She woke up late at night as she didn’t feel right.
“She couldn’t put any weight on her right leg and that’s when it all began.
“It was an extremely traumatic experience to see that happen to the person you love.
“My memories of the night itself are a bit of a blur, just trying to get her the help she needed as quickly as possible, it was once we were at St George’s that it became clear to me the seriousness of the situation.”
After collapsing at the couple’s home, Ms Stewart was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, where she was admitted to the neurological ICU.
She underwent emergency surgery before being put into a medically-induced coma.
Doctors later diagnosed her with VITT, a rare condition characterised by life-threatening blood clots.
The cause of the condition is still being probed, but doctors have suggested it could have been triggered by an overreaction of the immune system.
Ben said: “My wife was an extremely healthy 40-year-old. She has never been in a hospital before, I can barely even remember the last time she needed to go to see a GP.”
The couple, who have been described as fiercely private, will be unable to return to work anytime soon, so their friends and family have set up a fundraiser on their behalf.
The GoFundMe page has raised more than AU$175,000 (£95,000) so far, which will help cover future medical costs.