Family Believes Flu Shot Caused Daughter's Paralysis And Blindness

| by Reve Fisher
Brianna Browning.Brianna Browning.

A Texas family believes its daughter's rare health complications were caused by a flu shot.

On Oct. 15, 9-year-old Brianna Browning received a flu shot at school. A few hours later, her health took a drastic turn for the worse.

"Eight hours later, she was profusely vomiting and again Friday morning," Brenda Faulk, Brianna’s mother, told ABC News. "Saturday, she was paralyzed from the waist down, blind and seemed like she had a seizure."

"It's horrible. It kills us," said Johnny Alexander, Brianna's stepfather.

Brianna is currently being treated at Houston Medical Center's Texas Children's Hospital, reports ABC News. The reaction attacked her brain, areas of her spinal cord and neurological system, reports Fox 13 News. The family said doctors have not confirmed that the child's condition is a result of the vaccine.

"There are some cases, very rare, that a flu shot has a more severe reaction and those reactions are minor in terms of the number of people who are going to get those," said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services.

The family is convinced Brianna is part of that small group that has suffered serious reactions to the flu shot.

"We know in our hearts this was the flu vaccine that made her ill," Alexander said.

On the Fox 35 News Facebook page, users are debating both the necessity of the vaccine, and the likelihood of suffering extreme reactions to it.

"They *believe* the vaccine caused her condition," a man said. "There is zero confirmation or evidence of that from certified medical officials."

"I'm all for vaccines for deadly diseases, but flu vaccines are low reward and there is always a risk," another user said. "Scientists screw up sometimes, people have weird reactions, it's not gonna kill you getting the flu (most of the time, old people do occasionally die), I got the flu every year I took the vaccine as a kid, stopped taking it, and I've had the flu twice in over 17 years of not taking it."

According to Fox 13 News, Brianna will be in an extensive rehabilitation program. Doctors do not know if she will fully recover.

Sources: Fox 13 News, ABC News, Fox 35 News on Facebook / Photo credit: Fox 13 News