One Powell County resident was hospitalized after receiving the one dose Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccination. The previously very active and healthy 65 year old Powell County woman, Ruby Shepherd, shares her story on the life-altering events that according to her and her daughter, Crystal Boyd, were recorded in her discharge documentation as “An adverse reaction to vaccine.” Ruby shares that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was recalled just one day after she received her dose. However, the brief pause has recenty been lifted and has since become available again after the FDA and CDC have approved the vaccine claiming it is both safe and effective to use.
Initially after receiving the vaccine on April 5th, that evening later, Shepherd reported feeling similar to what she had been told by many others they were feeling as well, a sense of exhaustion, fevers and shivering. She labeled it as being a “mild reaction” to the vaccine in the beginning. That was until symptoms became too intense and life-threatening to ignore only eight days later. On April 13th, Ruby was admitted to the Clark Regional Hospital by ambulance after calling her daughter claiming she was suffering intense conditions such as a fullness in her neck, nauseau, heaviness in her arms, fevers, exhaustion, sky-rocketing blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and she was even unsure of what day of the week it was or her own birth date at this point.
Unsure of what exactly was going on inside of Ruby, first-responders and her daughter needed answers. In the beginning, her daughter, Crystal, suspected a stroke or a slight heart-attack as a possibility. After closer examination and blood work, the doctors treating Shepherd were able to determine and deliver the shocking news that there were blood clots somewhere inside of Shepherd. Her daughter explains that it took up to three days before this dedicated team of physicians were able to track down where these clots were. After several MRI’s and CT’s, they were finally able to diagnose that there were two blood clots, one being in her neck. In addition to these clots, Ruby was suffering with extremely low oxygen levels and her blood platelets bottoming out. The treatment for this type of condition was labeled as Human Immunoglobulins, made from human blood plasma. Each treatment for her condition ranged as much in cost as $5,000.00, and Ruby needed six doses to be able to have a chance of surviving these side effects. This treatment was extremely vigorous to Ruby’s well being and she spent time in the intensive care unit of the hospital to be able to handle the drug and receive doses as doctors needed to administer to her. Her daughter adds to this series of events, “People need to know that this is somebody right here in our home-town.”
Ruby spent seven days in the hospital, and after being home for only one day, passed out due to blood pressure complications and was admitted by an ambulance once again, spending a total of eight days in the hospital in order to get to a stable condition. According to the mother and daughter, the team of doctors treating Ruby informed her that they would be creating an article in the New England Journal of Medicine to help other physicians better understand how to treat these conditions, to not dismiss any symptoms and what course of action to take. Ruby says in order to recover she’s spending much of her time now resting and describes her overall feeling as “being hit like a train.” She also adds that all the while, “I had faith,” going on to say, “It’s a personal choice, but consider the possibilities.”
Before receiving the vaccine, Ruby stated she worked six days a week, ten hour days even. She lived what she considered to be a very active and healthy lifestyle and never suffered with any previous major health issues or hospitalizations. Now, Shepherd is unsure of how long she will need to stay on these life-dependent drugs such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications. As of now, the doctors responsible for Ruby’s care have ordered her to stay on blood thinners for at least six months.
Ruby and her daughter say following her time spent in the hospital due to the adverse reaction, FDA, CDC, and Johnson & Johnson are all taking a closer look at her case. When they research the studies and reports, it was their knowledge that Ruby would be the seventh of six-million to receive the vaccine thus far to experience these severe type of symptoms. After all is said and done, her daughter, Crystal, shares the scariest part for her is understanding that these blood clots are still there and there is the possibility that they can move and create problems once again before they dissolve.
Being used to a self-dependent lifestyle beforehand, Ruby spent a large majority of her time working and bettering herself. Now with the circumstances she’s faced with today, she’s unsure when she will be able to return to work. In order to help with the medical bills and expenses, her daughter has created a gofundme link where you can make donations to help with Ruby’s care in the meantime. The link to be able to donate is htttps://gofund.me/1ea125e7 and is labeled as “Help Ruby with medical bills and expenses, organized by Crystal Boyd.”