Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Teenage Girl Disabled Following Gardasil, Meningitis Vaccine

Posted by Jane Akre
Saturday, February 07, 2009 12:13 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Gardasil, Merck, Human Papillomavirus, Cervical Cancer

A 16-year-old girl experiences paralysis and pain after a Gardasil shot with meningitis vaccine.



IMAGE SOURCE:  Rocky Mountain News Web page, Ashley Ryburn


The Rocky Mountain News tells the story of 16-year-old Ashley Ryburn who was suddenly sick all the time. Ashley played four sports, danced and earned A and B’s. Now she is exhausted, nauseated, blacks out, throws up and has seizures. In a video on the Web page, Ashley tells her story.

Occasionally her legs give out and become numb. She’s had to curtail her outings.  “You can see somebody touch your legs and you can’t feel it,” Ashley tells the paper. “That’s the scariest thing in the world.”

Ryburn has been hospitalized three times in the past year and had back spasms so painful that she would tell her mom “bye,” the paper reports.   Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong.  Her mother, Lisa Holtman blames the vaccine Gardasil recommended for adolescent girls to prevent cervical cancer.  Ashley first got the shot with a meningitis vaccine in August 2007 and another Gardasil vaccine by itself in October 2007.

Gardasil was never clinically tested to be given with the meningitis vaccine.  Both are inactivated vaccines, but research from the National Vaccine Information Center says that the reactions to Gardasil can increase when given along with the meningitis vaccine.  A month or so after her second Gardasil vaccine, Ashley began to get sick.

So far the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has recorded more than 10,000 adverse reactions to Gardasil, which account for about 20 percent of vaccine reactions reported to VAERS.

Among those commonly seen is Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes muscle weakness and blood clots or death.  The CDC reports there is no constant pattern of reactions to Gardasil.    Merck, the drugmaker stands by its vaccine given to prevent four types of human papillomavirus, two of which can cause cervical cancer.   

Barbara Loe Fisher, co- founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a watchdog group in Virginia, speaking to the Rocky Mountain News, calls the percentage “unusual”.

“This is a whitewash of this vaccine. To say that almost 10,000 reports of reactions, injuries, 30 deaths is all a coincidence is simply not scientifically responsible," Fisher said. "You have perfectly healthy girls go in and get this shot and then suffer a pattern, a very clear pattern of injury, and some of them are dying. This is not acceptable."

Ashley’s reactions are not unusual. Many girls report similar symptoms such as muscle weakness, seizures and memory loss, joint pain, tingling and numbness, severe headaches and immune system dysfunctions. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted disease. Estimates are anywhere from 50-80 percent of sexually active adults have been exposed at some point in their lives. Generally the immune system takes care of the virus and there are no symptoms.

So far two states, Washington D.C. and Virginia have mandated that girls entering sixth grade receive the vaccine by 2009 and 2010.

Merck, after an extensive lobbying campaign of Gardasil, has twice been denied FDA approval to expand Gardail use for women ages 27 to 45. It is currently approved for use in women and girls ages 9 to 26.

Comments below the Rocky Mountain story also tell stories of serious reactions by teenage girls following Gardasil.  Another woman comments about surviving cervical cancer and she supports use of the vaccine.  # 


Posted by Caroline Petrie
Saturday, February 07, 2009 12:15 PM EST

The Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA), a national organization, would like the public and media to know that information is available regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of meningitis. MFA was founded by parents whose children were affected by meningitis. In addition to supporting vaccines and other means of preventing meningitis, the MFA provides information to educate the public and medical professionals so that the early diagnosis, treatment and, most important, prevention of meningitis, will save lives. Meningitis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems such as deafness, brain damage and other disabilities, meningitis can sometimes result in loss of limbs. MFA would like to be considered as a news resource for the disease. For further information, visit the MFA website at LINK ." rel="nofollow"> LINK

MFA is proud to announce the new C.I.S.S. Container Identification Scratch System
When we participate in sporting events or mingle at social gatherings it is possible to lose track of our water bottles and/or beverage cans, especially those served in containers that are very similar or identical to a container from which you are drinking. This carries the risk of transmitting an illness, such as meningitis or the common cold or flu. The Container Identification Scratch System, or C.I.S.S., is a fun way to make sure you always know your drink from others. Use it at sporting events or at a family gatherings and reduce the waste from forgotten drinks. Simply scratch your number from the C.I.S.S. label and identify your drink. For more information please contact Bob Gold at Ciss.bob@gmail.com and LINK

Thank you,

Meningitis Foundation of America
P O Box 83602
Phoenix, AZ 85071

Anonymous User
Posted by Joan Petty
Saturday, February 07, 2009 8:51 PM EST

Great Story Jane, May some of your readers are interested in about the Texas State Governor mandated that all teenage girls in the State of Texas be vacinated with the drug Gardsall.There is a article on this issue. I may have it if you want it. Texas is the only state to mandate gardsal for teens. Also Gardsal is manufactured by Merck in Philidelpha PA. Another Merck product..

Posted by Annon
Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:25 AM EST

Check out book on “The HPV Vaccine Controversy: Sex, Cancer, God and Politics” authored by Shobha S. Krishnan, M.D, Barnard college, Columbia University. It is available at amazon.com and Barnes and Noble .com and is written without the influence of any pharmaceutical company or special interest groups. Link to the book: LINK

Jane Akre Injury Board Community Member
Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, February 09, 2009 9:23 AM EST

Thank you for the resource. It is quite apparent that guilt if you do not vaccinate your daughter is a powerful motivator for many parents- something Merck can and does play on in its very effective advertising.

Is the vaccine safe? Is it effective? Is it necessary? Still unanswered questions but right now even if your daughter is one in one million, the downside is becoming increasingly apparent, while the upside has yet to be shown.

Those who have experienced cervical cancer might disagree, though Gardasil only is shown to be effective against two types of HPV and there are more than 40. ( Its effective against two HPV that cause genital warts, which rarely turn into cancer).

Since the majority of HPV are fought off by the body's own immune system- parents may want to eliminate junk food from their daughter's diets and work on adding colorful fruits and vegetables, clean water and adequate sleep to keep viruses in check. Just a thought!

Anonymous User
Posted by jenna bear
Monday, February 09, 2009 10:32 AM EST

My daughter has also lost life as she knew it to this vaccine. Until now, the FDA, CDC and Merck have insisted these reactions are 'coincidence'- after my daughter began seizing this weekend we called Merck in absolute rage and were now told they have a team of doctors working on this and that they are aware that many girls are horribly ill. We were provided a case number and advised that our physician should contact them. They are finally realizing that we will not be silent and that the truth must be told. Call 1-800-444-2080.

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, February 09, 2009 1:06 PM EST


We are so sorry for your loss. Do you care to tell other parents what you thought about the vaccine before you gave it and what you witnessed? Is there any doubt that Gardasil was a cause or could it have been a correlation?

Thank you for sharing- so many mothers are on the fence as to what to do and guilt is a powerful motivator.

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, February 09, 2009 1:18 PM EST

Folks may not realize that they can call complaints into the FDA themselves. Doctors are supposed to, but it is not mandated.

BTW- the number Jenna gives above is to Merck where one can register a comment.

Also- LINK
Vaccine Adverse Event Report System

Guide to reporting problems to the FDA

1-800-332-1088 to get started

Posted by Naomi Aldort
Monday, February 09, 2009 6:19 PM EST

Dear Ashley,

I am confident that you can heal completely by cleaning up your body from the toxins. I highly recommend that you contact Dr. Aajonus Vondeplanitz from LA and follow his guidance. People from all over the world come to him with every "incurable" condition. Your symptoms will clear when you clear your body from all the toxins. The meds you are taking add to these toxins. He will clear you so good that you won't need them.
Please tell him that Naomi Aldort gave you his information.

Aajonus's phone number is 310 226-7055, or email him: optimal@earthlink.net

If you have any questions, feel free to write to me. I counsel parents and children and teenagers. I would love to help you because I know you can heal completely.

With care,

Naomi Aldort
Author, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

Anonymous User
Posted by Leslie Prichard
Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:46 PM EST

My 19 year old daughter has been suffering from adverse reactions from Gardasil for 11 months now. These include seizures, headaches, body aches and pains, stabbing stomach pains, vision problems, hair loss, tremors, fatigue, and bleeding gums. This vaccine needs to be stopped. Please sign the NVIC petition and circulate it so that this can be brought before Congress for investigation. The website is LINK We need doctors to stop giving these vaccines and to treat our girls that are so sick.

Anonymous User
Posted by Rosemarry Mathis
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 5:57 AM EST

My 13 year old daughter has been sick for 6 months since taking this vaccine. She is disabled and cannot attend school on a regular basis. Prior to receiving this vaccine, she was a very healthy young lady. This needs to be stopped. My daughter experiances numbing in her legs and SEVERE abdominal pain and headaches on a daily basis. She has now been referred to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC for further observation. We need to understand if there is a way to detox our children from this horrible poison. If Congress does not act on the reports of this vaccine, they will not be performing the duty for which they have been elected.

Anonymous User
Posted by Jodi Speakman
Friday, February 27, 2009 6:28 PM EST

My daughter, Victoria, has been having non-epileptic seizures since March 31, 2008. Doctors seem to believe that my daughter's seizures are stress induced and will not relate them to Gardasil.

Here is some history. I will be as brief as possible. My daughter had her first Gardasil vaccination November 2007. Her second vaccination was in the beginning of February 2008. Immediately after her second vaccination, Victoria experienced severe diarrhea and was nauseous for about eight weeks. On March 31, 2008, she had her first seizure. After several emergency room visits, she was diagnosed with conversion disorder. My daughter has treated with many neurologists, all of whom will not relate my daughter's seizures to Gardasil. Meanwhile, there quite a few hundred people that I have found over the internet through my numerous postings and through Erin Brockovich, and their daughters are all experiencing the same symptoms, which occurred after the Gardasil vaccination. My daughter has had CT scans, MRI's, MRA's, EEG's, blood work and was hospitalized at an epilepsy center for two separate weeks in 2008. Iinitially, she was put on many different seizure medications. All tests have normal results. Although her SED rate seems to be high each time and she did have protein in her urine which doctors do not seem concerned about..

Doctors recommended that my daughter treat with a psychiatrist and I complied. However, the psychiatrist did not believe that my daughter had conversion disorder. My daughter has seen several neurologists, a psychiatrist, psychologist, several neuropsychologists, an immunologist, several infectious disease doctors, and also treated a wellness center.

My daughter currently experiences fhe following: non-epileptic seizures, migraines, fainting, tremors, twitches, numbness, staring episodes, tingling, eye pain, joint pain, neck pain , memory loss, confusion, regression and chronic fatigue . She has not been in school since September 2008 -- she should be a senior in high school. Her teachers helped her to complete her junior year by sending work home. My daughter can never be left home alone. She can't go to school, go out with her friends or work or has little "normalcy" in her life.

I do not know which way to turn for help. We have seen so many doctors and I can't seem to find anyone willing to help my daughter except for one psychologist, who "talks" to her to try to work through her stress. I continue to take my daughter to the psychologist although I do not believe that my daughter's symptoms are stress related. There are so many other girls who have the same symptoms as my daughter and the one thing all the girls seem to have in common is the Gardasil vaccination.

Although, we are on a fixed income, I have expended many thousands of dollars in an effort to seek medical opinions and assistance. Although we do have medical insurance, it is very difficult to find doctors willing to treat my daughter who accept our HMO.

We are in desperate need of medical treatment for my daughter. I have run out of ideas, finances have dwindled and I do not know which direction to turn.

Any thoughts are most appreciated. Thank you.

Jodi Speakman

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes