A dad who was fit and healthy before his life was ‘destroyed’ by the covid jab has been awarded £120,000 in a UK first. Anthony Shingler has a long and painful journey ahead of him after falling desperately ill just days after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The 58-year-old ended up on a ventilator and fought for his life for months. He only recently returned home to his loved ones after spending 420 days in Royal Stoke and Hayward hospitals.
After falling ill, he was later diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a serious condition that sees the body’s immune system damage nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis, following a infection and, in rare cases, vaccination.
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While in rehabilitation at Royal Stoke, his wife Nicola Shigler, 49, was researching the disease when she came across the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) last May. The government-funded initiative provides a one-time payment to people who are severely disabled as a result of vaccination.
To qualify for the tax-free payment of £120,000 a person must be 60% disabled and provide medical evidence from doctors. Anthony and Nicola, from Northwood, received a call on Tuesday (June 21) confirming he would be getting the money – 13 months after she asked for it, reports StokeonTrentLive.
Anthony said: “I’m happy to have received the amount. I’m relieved because it relieves us a bit of the stress with the bills and all that. It gives us a chance to pay back what we have borrowed.
“We will have to adapt the bathroom so that I have a walk-in shower because the minute I have to intervene so I cannot use it because it is too high. This money will allow us to have the shower room and to use the bathroom. At the moment, there is no chance that I will return to work.
“I don’t see it as a retirement fund because it’s not. It’s far from enough. I still have at least seven to 10 years of professional life to go. That was my plan to do it, but I don’t see that happening.
“I will recover for the next three years. I will need specialist equipment to improve my quality of life. We may need to purchase a stairlift as it is currently rented by a charity. It would cost around £5 £000 to buy.
“My advice to others is to keep fighting, it’s a long process but apply for the program. Get regular updates and make sure you have your medical records and review them yourself.”
Recent data shows that between January 2021 and January 2022, there were 499 cases of GBS linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Five of them were fatal.
Before sending his application, Nicola filled in a form via the Yellow card scheme which allows people to register incidents with medicines or medical devices in the UK. She is also part of a Twitter group called VIBUK which includes other people whose lives have been affected by covid vaccines. They continue to campaign to reform the VDPS because of its strict criteria.
Nicola said: “Anthony was in hospital when I requested it. The process was horrible all the way, it was a battle. The system was not set up to support people who If you don’t meet one of the two criteria, you may not receive anything – the bar is set too high.
“There have been people who have been affected by the vaccine but are not disabled enough to claim it. We have campaigned with our group – if we can help try to reform the vaccination program that will help also others who have been affected.”
She added: “£120,000 seems like a lot but for people who have kids to raise it doesn’t really make up for it. Tony has already lost a full year’s salary.
“It’s not something that we can look to the future and think it’s going to help him if he doesn’t return to work. We can’t look at it to compensate for personal pain and suffering.
“We really don’t know how long Tony is going to be like he is and that’s the hardest part. The doctors don’t know either.
“I had to fight for it. It was so stressful for me. It gave us some breathing room financially because I was always worrying about paying the bills.
“There’s still a lot of hard work we have with Tony with the physical aspect and the care. It’s something we didn’t expect to do – we had to fight 13 months for it.
“We believe this is the first case of GBS in the UK to be awarded. We hope this will give other sufferers a ray of hope.”
What the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said:
The Department of Health and Social Care has reiterated that the VDPS scheme is not a compensation scheme.
A spokesperson said: “Since the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) took over administration of the VDPS from the DWP in November 2021, DHSC and NHSBSA have worked together to improve the VDPS to make the process easier. , faster and more accessible for applicants.
“NHSBSA is now improving the claimant journey by making it faster, more accessible, and with clearer and more regular communication about the status of their claim. This includes digitizing and modernizing the process, including the VDPS application form.
“The VDPS is not designed to cover all expenses associated with a severe disability. It is not a compensation scheme. Rather, it is a payment to recognize that the person may have been injured by having received a vaccine.”
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