KEY POINTS

  • A woman from Houston was paralyzed from the waist down after getting vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine
  • The woman was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré, a rare condition that causes the immune system to attack the body's nerves
  • The FDA updated its label of the J&J vaccine to indicate that it increases the possibility of developing the syndrome

A woman from Houston was paralyzed after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Jamie Walton shared that she has taken the necessary precautions throughout the pandemic to avoid contracting the virus. About three months ago, she was vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, thinking that it might raise her immunity against COVID-19.

When June came, however, Walton started feeling numbness and tingling in her hands and feet, ABC 13 News reported.

"I know my body and I knew something wasn't right, so I kept trying to go to different doctors and I kept being told, 'You're dehydrated. You're fine,'" Walton said. "One doctor told me I had anxiety."

Walton's condition worsened, eventually affecting her ability to walk. She started falling and ended up being paralyzed from the waist down. Walton reported that she went to the emergency room twice before she found out that she had Guillain-Barré, a rare condition that causes the body's immune system to attack its nerves.

"When this first happened, I honestly thought 'Am I dying?'" Walton recalled. "It's so weird when you have everything being taken away from you, and it was pretty fast--moving up the legs to my hips to where I was numb, waist down, then the arms and the fingers."

Thanks to Walton's brother-in-law, who was the one who determined that she had the condition, Walton was able to prevent her Guillain-Barré from getting worse.

After a spinal tap confirmed her diagnosis, Walton checked in to Memorial Hermann Hospital and stayed there for 22 days, during which she was treated and slowly regained feeling in her lower body.

"If mine wasn't caught when it was and it got to my diaphragm, I could have been like a lot of these patients who are in the hospital on ventilators not able to talk, not able to move, and there for a long, long time," Walton said.

Walton added that she went to TIRR Memorial to learn how to walk again, and there it was determined that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine caused her paralysis.

"After analysis, they determined mine was definitely caused by getting the [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine," Walton said.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the label of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to warn people of the increased possibility of getting Guillain-Barré. Although the FDA has not established whether the vaccine directly causes the condition, the agency noted an increase in reports of the syndrome among those who got the vaccine.

US experts say the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine should be administered US experts say the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine should be administered Photo: AFP / Joseph Prezioso