Interview with María José Blanco Cárdenas
- Category: Publicaciones, Así compartimos
My name is María José Blanco Cárdenas, we are now in El Salado, Bolívar. I was vaccinated at the Holy Spirit Educational Institute. I was about 14 or 15 years old when I was vaccinated. The experience that I have had with the vaccine has been terrible. I have gone to many clinics, I have had many crises. The crises appear in different forms, for example, sometimes I completely lose the ability to move my legs, or I sleep for almost 24 hours, and I don’t awaken no matter how they try to wake me up. The truth is that I have been suffering a lot because of this. There have been opportunities that I have missed because of the pains I suffer. I have become the butt of the jokes of many people. I have also felt the pain that my family feels when they see me in this condition, when they see how I feel, the reactions I have. This hasn’t been easy because I have missed many opportunities that I couldn’t take advantage of since I was sick, because I was in a clinic, on a stretcher, where doctors have never told me what I really have. I have wanted to kill myself because I don’t want to be like this anymore, because I see how my family suffers when they see me ill and knowing that we are still without finding a solution. I want to move ahead with my life but I haven’t been able to, instead I suffer like many other girls. I’m afraid that one day I will fall asleep and will never wake up or that I will be bound to a wheelchair without knowing why this happened. This is a lumbar pain, a regular pain, that is what the doctors have said, but I don’t feel it that way, it hurts, I’m feeling it, I want this to end, I want to know what it is that I have. I want a solution for my health, I want this to end…
How many times were you vaccinated?
They came to inject me with the third dose, I had the third dose of that vaccine, and because of that I’m, going through very ugly things.
Did you have any symptoms with the first dose?
With the first dose I didn’t feel anything or maybe I didn’t notice, with the second dose I started to feel everything. My body started to react in a different way. With the third dose everything really started and they didn’t even ask for any consent from my parents.
Were you told what the vaccine was for?
They said it was against the human papilloma virus and we got vaccinated at school, but that was everything we were told.
Were you told of any risks associated with the vaccine?
No, they didn’t tell us about any risks, they said it was for our health for our wellbeing. But now I can see what the “wellbeing” was that we were injected with.
This has affected my life because I have wanted to study but in spite of that wish, I have fallen behind, because I have sometimes been in the hospital suffering with pain. It has affected my family in the way that I see them destroyed when they see me like this. The little they have or had, had they have sold it and they are in debt because they have been trying to find a medical solution for me, taking me to clinics, looking for an answer and not finding one.
Are you receiving any treatment right now?
No, I’m not receiving any type of treatment, only when I go to the hospital because of the pain, they inject me with some medicine, give me some pills and with that I have to stand the pain, everything that happens, with a few pills because I am not receiving any treatment, they don’t tell me anything because according to them they don’t know what my illness is.
What are the stronger symptoms that you feel?
The strongest pain that I have had is a pain in my spine, a lumbar pain that affects me all over, even in my legs, I stop feeling my legs, I can’t move them, they do not respond to anything, to any stimulation, it is very painful just to think that I may become wheelchair bound and that I may not be able to walk again because of this.
Have you received any diagnosis?
They don’t give me any diagnosis.
Have you had any tests done?
Yes, they have done many tests.
What have the tests shown?
They have told me that it is just a lumbar pain that can go away with an injection. They have told me that it is a normal type of infection that can be treated with antibiotics, and that is it.
This only offers you a temporary help?
Yes, it is something temporary.
Are there stronger episodes where you feel weaker?
Yes, I have episodes when I sleep for almost 24 hours, I don’t respond to any type of stimulus, when I wake up I’m not able to be awake for a long time, is like my body is just tired and only wants to sleep and to rest, my body doesn’t want to respond and I don’t even move at all.
Were you able to continue with your studies?
No, it has been difficult. No matter how much I want to feel better, I even made the decision to not continue, I stopped seeking more doctors or going to clinics, but decided instead to struggle for my dream of wanting to study, of going ahead with my life. If I feel pain I endure it, but I want to study, I want to move ahead.
What expectations do you have now after talking with the Attorney General?
I have the expectation that perhaps something will be solved, because I was able to talk to him and I was able to see that he paid attention to me, he listened to me, that he indeed felt the message I wanted to convey to him and I hope that he will help us, that this time we will indeed be heard.
Did he make any promises?
He didn’t commit himself directly to looking for a solution, but I know that he is going to help us, that he is going to try. I hope he will be heard, so they can see that what we are feeling is real and that we need help.
What do you feel when the papers publish news articles saying that nothing happened here, that everybody is well?
I don’t know if I feel anger, or disappointment. This indeed happened, because of what we are feeling, it happened because we are enduring this, not only us, but our families also. I’m very mad when they say that nothing happened here when real situation is not like that. Why do they try to hide the facts If we are the ones who are feeling ill?
What would you say to other girls who may be thinking about getting this vaccine?
I would think about it and I wouldn’t get vaccinated. The ones that indeed got vaccinated are the example and we are suffering. The girls who are going to be vaccinated should think about it, should talk with their parents, and should be aware at the moment of vaccination; we can not even trust the vaccination. They should first prove to them that this is not going to happen to them, that they are not going to go through the same things that so many girls are enduring.
You were vaccinated in Carmen…
Yes, I was vaccinated in Carmen de Bolívar.
But you are from El Salado…
I live here.
But you were attending school in Carmen de Bolívar.
Yes, I was attending school in Carmen de Bolívar.
Thank you very much, good luck.