After suffering from blood loss caused by the COVID-19 vaccine, the Colorado Springs woman saw problems with the federal payment system | News in Colorado Springs

Kendra Lippy, a healthy 38-year-old, nearly died that spring after a severe hemorrhage thought to be caused by Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine that failed most of her organs. Now facing a life without most of his small intestine, he wants to find a complicated and obscure federal payment system for those suffering from COVID- vaccine damage. 19.

His blood count developed in March before the serious potential side effects — from Johnson’s and Johnson’s vaccine — were well publicized. He spent 33 days in the hospital while his doctors tried to figure out what was causing the problem. The treatment, including 22 days of intensive care, left the Colorado Springs resident with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. She is excitedly awaiting the final total of her uninsured care.

Despite his experiences, Lippy is not opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I did well,” he said. She wants to be vaccinated to protect her elderly co -workers at Cheers Liquor Mart, her family and the two men with disabilities who are cared for by her parents as host home providers. He also wants to be able to return to travel and feels that vaccination is an important step in that direction.

Now his focus is to return to a normal state. Before her illness she would walk a lot, go to the gym regularly and run with her 15-month-old nephew. After weeks in the hospital, she is at work and physical therapy, working to regain basic activities like walking 20 minutes at a time and climbing her stairs at home.

Part of his path to recovery is the federal fee that will cover his many medical bills. He wants to find a federal payment system that is fair for him and others who suffer rare complications from the COVID-19 vaccines.

The only current option for people suffering from COVID-19 vaccine injuries is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, a system known to reduce the majority of applicants. Since 2010, the program has received 701 requests for compensation and provided financial benefits to 29 people. Today, 210 of the claims are pending, according to data updated April 1 by the program.

As of Wednesday, the program had received 152 claims involving the COVID-19 vaccine and 293 involving other treatments, according to David Bowman, spokesman for the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

Administrative staff within the countermeasures program will decide who will receive benefits and review appeals. People alleging injury must file within one year of getting the vaccine, according to the program’s website.

Nor will the program reimburse anyone for non-economic damages, such as illness, suffering and damage, according to Stephen Justino, Lippy’s attorney.

“It’s a pathetic inadequate system,” he said.

Patients infected with measles, flu and other common vaccines can apply for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a system that provides an open court process, pain relief and rehabilitation. antos, and higher windows available.

Congress must act to allow COVID-19 vaccine claims to go through a more transparent process, said attorney Renée Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University. Gentry said that’s probably the easiest way to make sure the system is fair for people like Lippy.

The current option for claimants may be simple, but no lawyer can be caught with submission deadlines and other technicalities, he said.

“It’s a program to file and get lost,” he said.

A more transparent system has a fee for lawyers, he said, so it is easier to get professional representation.

Gentry expects Congress to allow COVID-19 cases to go through a more transparent process later, and his clinic is pushing for change. But change may not happen in time to help people like Lippy, who were hurt at the start of the vaccination effort, he said.

In order for a better federal process to accept COVID-19 vaccination claims, they must be recommended for children and pregnant women and meet other specific criteria, according to Bowman.

Since the Pfizer vaccine is already recommended for 12 and up, Gentry said, he expects to recommend the vaccines for most children later and meet the standards for other systems.

However, the more robust system faces a significant backlog in cases without any COVID-19 claim. About 4,000 cases are pending, and only eight people are being used to try them, according to Gentry. It could take two years to get a schedule for a trial and a year to get an opinion, the system needs Congress to allow it to have multiple judges, he said.

“It would collapse if we didn’t have a lot of people,” he said.

Justino is hopeful that Lippy’s story will help convince Congress to make changes to the system to provide a safety net for those who follow the government’s direction and get a vaccine, he said.

“There should also be a system of fair treatment of people who pose a risk that society needs to take,” he said.

For Lippy, who has no significant health condition, the extraordinary danger has become real.

The first sign that Lippy’s vaccine is causing problems is a headache, he said.

“It was like the thorns were squeezing my brain,” he said. “So I got out of work early, got home, tried to rest and sleep.”

A few days later, he suffered severe abdominal pain and began vomiting, he said. He was admitted to St. Francis Hospital in mid -March before blood and Johnson blood became the most important national news, and federal agencies sent out guidelines to doctors on how to treat it.

Doctors began treating her blood pressure with heparin, a usually thinnest blood clot. However, medication that would have made full sense to doctors may have exacerbated the problem rather than alleviated it, according to Ross Kedl, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the University Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine.

“That’s like giving him more poison,” he said.

For most of her time in the hospital, doctors were confused and had a hard time diagnosing her condition, at one point they tried to determine if she had a blood disorder, according to Lippy.

Lippy is in a coma and most of her organs are failing, when a doctor calls a meeting with her family to find out if she wants her care to continue, her mother Debbie recalls. Lippy.

“I said,‘ He wants you to fight him, ’” Debbie Lippy said.

Debbie Lippy also suggested to doctors that the COVID-19 vaccine could cause her daughter’s blood clots after hearing about the news’s dramatic effect. This is an important first step to recovery and has led doctors to remove heparin as part of treatment, he said.

“From that point on, all the questions were answered,” he said.

Lippy said she suspects her daughter is the seventh official case of severe hemorrhage caused by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine known.

While Lippy’s experience was appalling, the fact that researchers recognized the role of the Johnson & Johnson shot as quickly as they did is a testament to the quality of safety tracking, Kedl said.

“They’re looking for almost one in a million signals… To me that’s good evidence that safety monitoring is effective,” he said.

Now back at her parents ’home, Lippy is learning to live with a small intestine 90 centimeters long and working with long-term diet professionals. A large part of the intestine died without a blood supply and was left dependent on receiving edible nutrition through his arm.

He hopes to return to work in the fall at least part-time at Cheers Liquor Mart where he is the office manager, and the store carries out his work for him.

“I’m not someone to sit still,” Lippy said.

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