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Newfoundland, Canada, native Josephine Jean Fillier lived a fulfilling life as a stay-at-home mother of three young children. With the partial loosening of COVID-19-related restrictions in late spring 2021, she was looking forward to the opportunity to travel to Ontario and visit her partner.
But in order to make that trip, the 31-year-old had to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite skepticism and misgivings, she received her first — and only — dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on June 18, 2021.
Within hours of getting the shot, Fillier experienced adverse reactions that led to symptoms and conditions that continue to affect her today. These include peripheral neuropathy, autonomic dysreflexia and dysautonomia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and Raynaud’s disease.
In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Fillier, now 33, described how her vaccine injuries affected her life, and how participating in the Canadian truckers’ convoy and in support groups for vaccine-injured individuals helped provide her with a new sense of purpose. She provided documentation verifying her story.
‘I feel like I’m dying a lot’
Fillier said she was looking forward to her trip in the spring of 2021.
“I’d never been off the island before,” she said. “After the lockdown, I needed it for my mental health.”
However, travel restrictions in place at the time in her province would have meant she would be forced into isolation, away from her children, if she traveled without getting the vaccine.
“At the time, my partner was in a different province, in Ontario,” Fillier said. “There was a thing called the ‘Atlantic Bubble.’ All the Atlantic provinces were closed, so to come back to my hometown, I would have to show proof of vaccination in order to avoid being isolated from my children.”
Fillier told The Defender she had misgivings about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. She felt “something wasn’t right, and I couldn’t put my finger right on it.”
“But since I was in fear of the government at the time, I did the face mask, I did the hand washing and the social distancing and all this stuff, but I just knew something wasn’t right about the vaccine and I knew I’m not going to get my children this vaccine,” Fillier added.
But eventually, Fillier did get the shot so she could travel.
“When I came home, two hours later, I noticed a severe burning in my right thigh, and I thought it was clotting … I thought I would put my leg up and just get the blood flowing back to my heart again, on my back on the couch. And it never went away.”
She said she had a bruise on her right thigh prior to getting vaccinated, and “it never healed fully.” Now, 22 months later, she still experiences a burning sensation in her thigh.
“It escalated to crawling sensations and internal vibrations,” Fillier added. “I have lumps all over my legs,” she said, adding that she’s documented all the symptoms.
A neurologist told her she had autonomic dysreflexia. “So, basically, my entire system that keeps you alive, the system that you don’t control, like your heart rate, your nervous system … mine is just totally not functioning well at all.”
She said she may have nerve damage in her right leg, “because my right foot burns and it goes numb every single day,” Fillier said. “And I have such crazy symptoms and pain all over, like fibromyalgia and inflammation. It’s been a crazy ride. I feel like I’m dying a lot.”
Fillier told The Defender:
“There’s just so much going on with my body. I barely even recognize myself anymore. I used to be fine. I had, maybe, depression and anxiety, but now it seems like my body is shut down and I’m scared all the time because I’m hearing all kinds of stories about other vaccine-injured [individuals]. I know somebody who lost their child. He was 17 years old [and] he died in his sleep. I have three kids, and I’m traumatized.
“I grieve every single day for the decision that I made. All because I wanted to take a trip to go visit my loved one. And I was in fear because back then, the government just kept saying, ‘There are restrictions, and you have to do this or this will happen.’ And I thought I would be arrested or something would happen if I didn’t show proof of vaccination.”
Despite the restrictions and threats, Fillier said she never was asked to furnish proof of vaccination or to reveal her vaccine status during her travels.
“So I got this for no reason,” Fillier said, “[and was] injured two hours after getting it into my body.”
The Pfizer dose she received came from batch number FA9093. According to data derived from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), one death, 13 disabilities and 61 other adverse events have been reported in connection with this batch.
‘It’s really hard to be the mom I used to be’
Fillier told The Defender her vaccine injuries continue to affect her day-to-day life and activities.
“I’ve had to slow down a lot,” she said. “I get pretty exhausted with my blood pressure issues. I cannot regulate my blood pressure or my body temperature or anything. So, sometimes I feel like I’m going to faint if I don’t have enough salt in my body. I literally have to carry around a bottle of sea salt and water with me just in case I feel like I’m going to pass out.”
Fillier also is sensitive to light and noise. “I get really exhausted and I need so much downtime,” she said. “I have ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] and I used to be so hyperactive and on the go. I can’t do the same things I used to anymore.”
She said “It’s really hard to be the mom I used to be because I am focused so hard on healing my body and detoxing my body that sometimes I don’t even get to do things with my children like I used to two years ago,” Fillier said.
‘I feel like I’m dying and nobody believes me’
Similar to the experiences shared by other vaccine injury victims, Fillier described being gaslit by her doctor. She told The Defender:
“I only went to one doctor, my family doctor for 23 years. I’ve known him since I was 10. I kept telling him that something was going on. I kept showing him the lumps on my legs, and I had lumps on my head as well that were really painful, and he just kept telling me to get compression socks.
“I went back for another appointment, and I told him that the lumps are still there and that I’m really worried that there’s something going on with my right leg … and he said if I didn’t look for lumps, I wouldn’t find any.
“I was really upset about that remark because I’m self-aware of my own body and I know that you’re supposed to make sure that no lumps form in case they could be cancerous. So, when he told me that if I didn’t look for any lumps, I wouldn’t find any, that really shocked me.”
According to Fillier, “He just totally gaslighted me the entire time, for the majority of my first part of my injury. And then I had a severe mental breakdown in his office, and I had to tell him, ‘I know something is wrong with me. I feel like I’m dying and nobody believes me.’”
Following the results of blood work, she was told the injuries would “run their course and go away when the vaccine is out of my body.”
It wasn’t until she saw a neurologist that she was told she had autonomic dysreflexia, an autoimmune response associated with vaccines.
‘I don’t recognize my loved ones anymore’
Fillier also described her experiences dealing with skepticism and a lack of support from her partner and her family.
“My partner didn’t believe me at all, because he got two injections and he had no side effects from it,” Fillier said. “My mom got three, my sister and her kids got one, and my ex, he got two … Nobody believed me, because most of my symptoms were internal … Nobody got to see the physical aspect of it.”
However, Fillier also said that she has observed adverse events impacting some of her family members, which she described as “mostly neurological.”
“I’ve seen personality changes in my loved ones,” she said. “They don’t seem like the same type of people anymore. My mom has received three doses and last Thanksgiving, she started going numb on her face. She is having issues with her hand, like waking up numb, pins and needles, and just neurological issues.”
“My partner is also struggling with neurological issues and has chronic inflammation,” Fillier added. “He also has a lump on his head, and he won’t get help because he’s not connecting the dots that it’s the vaccine.”
Fillier’s sister also is struggling, she said. “She also had a tremor in her leg when she was out at the coffee shop one day, and she’s having neurological issues.”
She said her loved ones are “more angry and depressed, and it’s sad to see that they’ve changed into these people in the last couple of years. And they won’t connect the dots that that’s what’s wrong with their body.”
“I’ve known two people now who have died, but their loved ones are not piecing it together,” she said.
‘I met so many truth-seeking freedom fighters that are now my family’
Fillier described her experience participating in last year’s Canadian “Freedom Convoy” opposing COVID-19-related mandates and restrictions as an “amazing” and educational experience. She said:
“Going to the truckers’ convoy was literally the most amazing experience of my life … when I found out that this was happening, I had to be a part of it. So, I traveled from Newfoundland to Ontario with a few friends, and it was the most amazing experience. There was so much love, there was so much positivity.
“When I woke up to realizing that this was not a vaccine, it was an experimental gene therapy … I started taking my own health into my hands and I started researching every single day and every night on what was going on with my body and how to heal myself through holistic and natural medicines because the professionals haven’t helped whatsoever.”
Participating in the truckers’ convoy nevertheless was a bittersweet experience for Fillier. She said:
“When I found out that this was happening to the vaccine-injured — the vaccinated people — I was so traumatized.
“I talked to so many other vaccine-injured [individuals] and it was just really traumatizing to find out what was going on and what the government planned to do for humanity. Not just in Canada, but all over the world.”
She said she met “so many truth-seeking freedom fighters that are now my family … if it wasn’t for the truckers’ convoy, I wouldn’t have met these freedom fighters.”
Participating in online support groups for COVID-19 vaccine-injured individuals has also been helpful for Fillier.
“I met so many vaccine-injured [individuals] on Facebook and Instagram from React19 and Real, Not Rare and Cat Parker [founder of the Vaccine Adverse Reactions Support Group] … I have such an amazing community right now, that I don’t feel so alone,” Fillier said, adding:
“Even when I do want to give up because my symptoms get too much or I just know so much like what’s going on in the outside world and I get scared of what’s going to happen to my kids if anything happens to me, I have a lot of people now.
“So, I may not have my biological family, but I have the freedom fighters and the vaccine-injured that I now consider my family. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today, because hearing their stories and hearing their symptoms and what works for them, like their natural medicines, I wouldn’t have the knowledge to be able to heal myself.”
“I can either sit at home suffering with these injuries, but I have decided to take that negative situation into a positive situation,” Fillier said. “That’s why I’m now an advocate. I was even on the National Citizen’s Inquiry as a witness. I just want to take my wisdom and my knowledge and my compassion and give back to the rest of the world and try to help advocate against these [vaccines] and hopefully help people detox.”
Fillier has also shared her story in a video posted on social media.
“I’m just really grateful that this happened, even though it was a very painful situation for me. It was a blessing in disguise.”