Sierra’s Story

Shared with permission from Sierra Frantz.

“Okay I want to start off by saying that yes I am anti-vax, I don’t believe that vaccines are safe and find it unworthy to gamble my life away.

I once had nothing against vaccines but that was up until I had my own allergic reaction to 2 vaccines (Hepatitis A & TDAP)( in which have high toxicity levels of mercury and aluminum in them) that I almost lost my life to because those chemicals went straight to my brain, giving me a brainstem lesion.

I got those vaccines in the summer of 2010, when I was 12 years old, in which was for the upcoming school year. I spent 3 months in Riley’s Children’s hospital fighting to save my life & while there my oxygen dropped to 85% and was on the ventilator for a month. Then I spent another month at the next door hospital , Methodists hospital, where Riley’s Rehab was at the time.

The years have been difficult to say the least and I still suffer everyday because of what those vaccines have done. But I am not done fighting & striving to win this battle for I know that with God helping & guiding me through this journey that my 💯% HEALING WILL BE MANIFESTED!!

If you want to read my testimony story of my journey through it all (from age 12- my junior year in high school) DM me and I will send it to you, or simply comment on this post and I will put it in the comments.

Now with all that said, I know there are many out there that are pro-vax just like I was when I was a kid, as well as there are many anti-vax like I am now & those who are on the fence of not sure what to do and not do.

Let me give you my unbiased opinion. Yes, vaccines could help you. You could get the vaccine, giving you trace amounts of the disease, which could cause you immunity. Yes, you could get the vaccine, giving you trace amounts of the disease, causing you to develop the disease. I personally have never got a disease from a vaccine but my brother has. He got the chicken pox vaccine & then broke out in chicken pox. Yes, you could get the vaccine and have a bad allergic reaction to it causing the chemicals go straight to your brain & almost losing your life, like I almost did. Either way it will always be a gamble on how your body responds to a vaccine since we are all different & are made up of different genetic make ups.

This is a picture of me on the vent when I was at Riley’s children’s hospital:

This is Sierra Frantz’ complete testimony:

“My Story

It was a summer like any other. I just left sixth grade, what I consider to be my best year but I never knew it was all about to change. August 6th, 2010 was a regular visit to the doctor but this time I had to get my vaccine for the upcoming school year, a TDAP that is a combination of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. All my life I’ve hated needles, always so afraid that multiple people had to hold me down to keep me from flaring. But this time I was so brave. After the nurse was done she began talking to my mom and I about Hepatitis A, a vaccine that was going to be mandatory in the up coming year. She said it was a two shot series, one that had to be given six months apart. Even though Hepatitis A wasn’t mandatory yet the nurse told me that I might as well get a head start on it and like I said I was feeling brave so I decided to get it then. Just the nurse and me needle in hand. She told me it was going to sting a bit and to look away but I wasn’t looking away. I had to know what was going on; so I watched as she slid the sharp cold metal beneath my skin. I didn’t flinch and before I knew it the needle was out, a Band-Aid in place.

I left the doctor’s office that day with the feeling of victory, proud of myself for my bravery. Little did I know that my bravery would soon turn into regret in the years to come.

Sixteen hours later after the vaccines the next day I started having a migraine. I thought nothing about it so I took some Advil but it still wasn’t going away. My mom thought I was dehydrated so I drank as much water as I could swallow. Days later my symptoms started getting worse and the migraines still weren’t going away. I tried everything, eating, sleeping, drinking, and taking Advil every six hours but nothing would help. My knees started getting weak and achy while walking down the stairs, my eyes were getting blood shot and my voice started getting hoarse making it harder to talk. I was really uncomfortable all the time to the point that I felt sick. The only thing that made me feel any better was being in the pool.

Something was definitely wrong and my mom was getting worried she knew that this couldn’t be some average cold. She decided to take me to the ER at Elkhart General on August 9th. They drew my blood and did IV fluids sending me home saying that nothing was wrong with me when clearly I knew that wasn’t the case. My symptoms continued getting worse. I remember almost falling down the stairs while coming down from my upstairs bedroom a couple times.

It was August 11th the day of my 7th grade orientation. I was so exited, I put on one of my back to school outfits and did my make-up lining my eyes in black eyeliner, and the liner enhanced my blood shot eyes. While walking the halls of Concord Junior High I was leaning to the left. Thank God my friend Anna and dad were there to walk by my side because I would’ve hit a wall if they weren’t there to hold me up. After orientation we went to Kohl’s and my walking and balance got so difficult to the point that I had to use a wheel chair.

Then we decided to go to the ER at South Bend Memorial. They did blood work and a CT scan that showed that I had something on my brain stem and they told us that they wanted to keep me for observations. The doctors decided that it was necessary for me to have a MRI to get a better look at the spot. I was miserable, I freaked out in tears complaining of my back. I was terrified what was yet to come. The nurses gave me Ativan for the pain and did another MRI as well as a lumber puncture that was defective because blood got in it. So they had to do another lumbar puncture to get better results.

Next thing I knew I woke up in my hospital bed and asked my mother when we were going home. I could see the pain behind her eyes when she told me that we weren’t going home that we were at Riley’s Children Hospital in Indianapolis. I was in shock I felt trapped, my whole world crashing down on me. This couldn’t be, I had to snap out of it, I had to be dreaming, this had to be a nightmare. These were the thoughts going through my head at the time. But this nightmare was reality and there was no waking up from it.

On August 15th I was eating a chocolate chip cookie when I coughed up a cup of foam cookie mixed in. Ironically enough I was taken down to have a cookie swallow, a swallow test where they put barium in whatever they would have me try to swallow. The barium made it easier for the doctors to track where things were going on the x-ray machine beside me. That day I found out that I lost my ability to swallow. Later they put in a NJ tube though my nose, down my throat and into my stomach, it was an uncomfortable situation all together and hurt a bit.

Days later my oxygen dropped down to 58% and I started to panic. The machine that monitored my oxygen was going off. The beeping was so loud. I was terrified, I began breathing real fast, and my dad was trying to get me to calm down to slow my breathing.

Nurses were rushing in and next thing I knew I was on the ICU floor an incubator down my throat helping me breathe. I remember night’s where I was terrified to go to sleep I would stay awake with my dad by my side watching TV fearful that I wouldn’t wake up if I fell asleep. I ended up being on the vent for a month and the doctors already scheduled the OR time for a tracheotomy before they took me off the ventilator; and were planning on inserting it after taking me off the vent but my parents said no. My mom insisted that they see if I could breathe on my own with the help of oxygen going through my nose until my lungs got strong enough to breathe on their own. The doctors were shocked, amazed that I could do it on my own. Over time I eventually came off the oxygen and could breathe on my.

Overall my stay at the Riley’s hospital lasted 3 months. I was at Riley’s hospital for 2 months but then was transferred to Riley’s Rehab in which I stayed for a month. While I was there I worked on improving my strength. I would do a little bit of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and school every day. The school I would do there wasn’t like the school I do now. I would go to a little room where I would work on school related work but it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know.

It’s now May 19th, 2015 and the past four years haven’t been easy for for me. It’s actually been very difficult. My life now is full of medical. I’m used to doctor’s appointments like crazy, bolus feedings six times a day, making sure I have enough eye drops with me at all times for my left eye that doesn’t produce moisture, handling my balance problem the best that I can and so much more that the list could probably go on forever.

This week alone I’ve had doctor’s appointment every day and I have another MRI tomorrow. I’m not sure how many MRI’s I’ve had but I know I’ve had over 40. Every six months I have another MRI to make sure I don’t have another lesion. I used to have to get them more frequently when I first came out of the hospital.

I had a relapse when I was in 8th grade but thank God we caught it quickly. We went back to South Bend Memorial where I went back on steroids to shrink the lesion. I’m not sure how long my stay was but it wasn’t too long and I wasn’t terrified like I’ve been before.

I haven’t had another on set of reoccurring lesions for three years now in which I’m so grateful for. I’ve been on shots that are supposed to help prevent another attack but since I haven’t had an onset in three years I’ve stopped taking them which I’ve been anxious to do. Now this decision is risky but it’s a risk I’m willing to take because I don’t want to be taking something I don’t need and the only way to know for sure if I need it or not is to come off and see what happens. Since I’ve been off the shots for 3 weeks my MRI’s have to be monitored more frequently, instead of it being every 6 months it’s going to be every 3.

When I first came out of the hospital I wasn’t allowed to go back to school since my immune system was too week. Instead two ladies from Concord came out to tutor me, Ms. Susan, the old librarian at the junior high and Mrs.Leszczynski, the German teacher at the high school. I did go to summer school in the summer before I went back to school being that I was a little anxious to get back into the flow of things.

My 8th grade year was a miserable school year for me. I had to use a walker that year which I hated. I felt like I had no friends and I didn’t converse in conversation that much for what I can remember. My self-esteem was the lowest it’s ever been. I always had so much homework which I expected would happen. I had so many doctors’ appointments then, way more than I do now plus speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. I also stayed up all night trying to complete my homework, where I would spend hours beyond hours on it and sometimes still not get it completely finished, finding out that I’ve fallen to sleep many nights working on it.

The next year was better and my strength was a little better than the year before. I started marching band in July which eventually helped my self-confidence and shyness a ton. Band is one of the only activities I can still do. I used to be into sports, I did volleyball, track, cheer, basketball, and even choir. Even though these activates are impossible for me to be apart of now I thank God for my Band Family. My Band Family has made a big impact on my life and I truly feel like they’re family, they’ve always been there for me which means the world to me. I don’t know what I would’ve done without Alexa Ross helping me by my side. Ever since the band festival in 8th grade she’s always been there, she was like my big sister and I couldn’t thank her enough!

I can remember the time when I was a freshman and Mr. Spradling asked me how I felt about marching the last part of the show. I didn’t believe I could do it I thought I would just mess up and create a disastrous domino effect rippling through the whole band. He believed I could do it. He then told me to walk 8 steps. So I walked 8 steps and he told me that I could do it, that we would work with it. Even though I still had a lot of doubt in my mind about it I never gave up, I kept practicing; I would never let my mistakes destroy my determination. My hard work paid and by time it came I marched that year, I felt victorious.

A wise man has always said, “you always have a choice”- aka Mr. Peterson. He’s right the choice is in no one else’s hands. No matter what life throws at you the ultimate choice no one else but your self can make.”