BETHEL PARK, Pa. — There have been some negative side effects reported worldwide from the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, but a Bethel Park woman told Channel 11 she has been affected by something that hadn’t been seen at all yet: paralysis.
Doctors at Allegheny General Hospital ran a bunch of tests but then Rachael Cecere, 33, from Bethel Park was moved to the Cleveland Clinic a few days ago.
She spoke exclusively with Channel 11 from her hospital bed at the clinic. She received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine last week at Rite Aid in Caste Village.
Twelve hours later, Cecere said almost her entire body was paralyzed.
“It was the scariest thing in the world to go to sleep completely fine (and walking), to wake up 1:30 in the morning and not be able to move at all,” the woman said. “I’m literally counting on my daughter to hand me my phone to call to get help.”
Paramedics came and rushed her to Jefferson Hospital. In the coming days, she was moved to Allegheny General Hospital in the Northside and then the Cleveland Clinic — as doctors ran a multitude of tests to figure out how and why this happened. An MRI and spinal tap were clear, and her blood work all came back negative, ruling out any rare diseases or disorders.
“There is just nothing they can find wrong with me. No underlying conditions, I have nothing in my history and they are basically telling me, ‘You’re healthy and we can’t figure out why this is going on,’” the woman told Channel 11.
She has been able to regain most of the feeling and strength back to her arms, but her legs are still a point of concern for doctors.