By Rebecca T, Australia
When my eldest daughter was 18 months old I dutifully had her receive her 18 month vaccination (Varilrix the GSK brand of chickenpox vaccine given in Australia). Immediately after the vaccination she wasn’t right. She was unsettled, cried exhaustively, was very red and seemed lethargic. Over the following days she was not her usual self either. She was not as alert, was not interested in engaging with me, had reduced eye contact during communication and her language went backwards. I was terrified that she had been permanently damaged by the vaccination. When my husband returned home from being away during this event and quite quickly exclaimed, ‘She has regressed!’ there was no doubt in my mind that she had been harmed by the vaccination.
For the next few weeks she still was not right and seemed ‘out of sorts’. One month after her vaccination she had an anaphylactic reaction to a sliver of cashew. She had no previous history of allergy. The memory of cradling her blue limp body in my arms is seared into my memory. I thought she was going to die. It was not rocket science to link the anaphylaxis to the vaccination. I was determined to find out why this had happened and it became my mission to cure her.
I am a scientist. My entire tertiary education and career was geared towards ‘science based medicine’. I had no reason to doubt the efficacy or apparent success of the vaccination program. Now I feel raped by my education. Indoctrinated as a top student that could regurgitate ‘the facts’ which are too heavily influenced by politics and profit. How shamed I am now. This humiliation has driven me harder to find answers and to heal my daughter.
It wasn’t long after the anaphylactic event that I stumbled upon “Anaphylactic children – canaries in the public health mine shaft? Are vaccines responsible for the epidemic of anaphylaxis in young children today?” by Rita Hoffman. This verified for me my gut feeling that her vaccination and her anaphylaxis were indeed related and enabled me to find the path to healing her.
Given that most mainstream Western medical practice is in complete denial of vaccine damage I knew I had to seek help outside of this sphere. I grant myself lucky that I had recently been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity which as an aside should have triggered caution with familial vaccinations. I could apply much of my research of alternate therapies to CFS and gut based healing to my daughter’s situation.
In addition to a cashew and peanut anaphylaxis, other issues she had now included many other food reactions, eczema, rash around her mouth, loose bowel motions with poor control, emotional instability, and difficulties engaging with other children and adults socially.
Our healing journey began with minimising any further toxic or inflammatory exposure through diet or the environment (certainly no further vaccinations), and progressed to healing the gut, providing nutrient dense foods, with absolutely no processed foods, and no sugar. I could assess her progress through changes in her eczema, rashes, demeanour, bowel motions and nut challenges. Eventually everything my daughter ate had been made by me from whole, mostly organic foods.
Initially I semi-blindly tried elimination diets. We went gluten and dairy free, substituting with other grains and soy (eeek!). I started her on probiotics. When she was almost 3, I was very fortunate to meet a GAPS nutritionist which was when her real healing started. We spent a lot of time revisiting the beginning stages of the GAPS protocol which was bone broths, basic non-starchy vegies, lots of ferments – at one time she was having something fermented every time she ate; no grains at all, no soy. For many years I used a diary to help identify reactive foods and to help assess her progress. I found food grouping quite valuable too such as ruling out all nightshades and citrus.
Progress was slow and always involved two steps forward and one back. But I could see that her body was getting stronger and her emotional capabilities were much improved with the better nutrition. Her most reactive foods were: grains (including corn), dairy (though raw dairy was tolerated quite well), sugar, fruit and dried fruit, citrus, nightshades, berries, some seafood, and chocolate. One of the worst healing detours we had was when we started her on homemade sourdough, which unbeknownst to us at the time was insidiously obliterating her gut. She developed severe eczema and then impetigo. This culminated in a course of systemic antibiotics (a very difficult decision). However I was moderately surprised at how well she recovered from this which I have no doubt was largely due to her excellent diet and large amounts of homemade ferments given to her.
I also relied heavily on the Weston A Price Foundation as an invaluable source of knowledge regarding the healing properties of food and how it should be prepared and consumed. This helped me give more attention to healthful, healing fats and organ meats. Only very minimal supplements were given and included fermented cod liver oil, probiotics, and the judicious use of herbs.
We almost never ate out. She always took her own food to kids parties and never accepted other people’s food. I had to know what was going into her at all times to gauge reactivity. It helped that the whole family abided by the same set of eating guidelines – and we all felt great for it!
Every now and then I would do a nut trial with her when I thought things were good. The first time I did a cashew nut trial on her which started with rubbing a raw cashew on the underside of her forearm, she developed a rash almost immediately. 5 years later, when she was 6½ we completed our fourth cashew nut trial where she could consume 20 or so cashews without any reaction. She was completely cured of her anaphylaxis.
As an aside, after my daughter was well on the road to recovery I stumbled across The Peanut Allergy Epidemic by Heather Fraser. This well researched book once again verified for me what had happened to my daughter – an innocent child’s immune system hideously manipulated and altered for the worse by an injection of toxic immune-reactive chemicals that had no place in her body for a pharmaceutically driven and ethically warped ‘greater good’.
My daughter achieves very high results academically, is very active in club sports and has many friends. She enjoys a wonderfully varied diet. However it is still almost exclusively homemade and unprocessed. This requires a huge commitment from me in the kitchen and I feel would simply not be possible if I had to work. Although at times this is very tiring, the results are so wonderful that it is motivating in itself and certainly I have no plans to migrate to a typical disease-promoting Western diet. Also I wonder if her body will always hold memory of her anaphylaxis, and if she ever becomes run down or chronically stressed, immune issues may resurface.
Looking back at her short life I do feel that she may have been predisposed to vaccine injury as evidenced through a brief family history of immune disease. I also now am acutely aware that vaccines can be very harmful (and ineffective). My daughters’ vaccine injury has taken 5 years of our lives to heal with a 110% commitment. Not to mention the awful stresses of living with EpiPens. And the more subtle yet no less stressful situations of dealing with ignorant and bigoted Western medical health professionals.
I do hope that our story offers some hope for all those other children and adults affected by anaphylaxis – that it can indeed be cured in the simplest of ways – with proper food and avoidance of pretend food! I owe so much to Natasha Campbell McBride and her GAPs protocol and Sally Fallon and the Weston A Price Foundation as I doubt we would have reached our result without these two invaluable sources of information.
Note: Dr. Rebecca T is a mother and research scientist in Australia. We appreciate her kind permission to share the story of her child’s vaccine induced immune system injury that resulted in life threatening anaphylaxis to everyday foods. Like so many parents whose children’s are at risk of anaphylaxis, Rebecca moved heaven and earth to help her child heal from the vaccine injury.
Reference: GAPS – Gut and Psychology Syndrome Nutritional Protocol by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD: http://www.gapsdiet.com/