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Desiree Jennings, a healthy 25-year-old with an active lifestyle, went to get her seasonal flu shot in August 2009. Some believed it was a hoax when Desiree reported some severe, yet strange, side effects from the shot. In fact, Desiree couldn’t walk forward, but could run forward and walk backwards.

However, Desiree has a legitimate condition: according to doctors she is suffering from acute, viral post immunization encephalopathy and mercury toxicity with secondary respiratory and neurological deficits. Desiree strongly believes that these problems are a direct result of the flu shot she received at her local grocery store chain.

At first, Desiree’s doctor diagnosed her with dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions. However, the doctor now believes she has the viral post immunization encephalopathy. Unfortunately, the illness can alter brain function or structure and can also cause memory loss and personality changes. In a recent interview, Desiree described her diagnosis and how her life has dramatically changed.

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