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The Girls of Gardasil: Brittney's Story

Recently, Gardasil researcher Dr. Diane Harper spoke out against the vaccine, warning parents to decide whether the risks are worth it. For many families, the adverse effects of this shot have changed their lives.

This is the start of a series sharing the stories of these brave families.

Here is the story of Brittney Fiste, as told by her mother Roxie.

“Everyone deserves to know the whole truth before blindly rushing out to take an unproven vaccine.”


Tell me about your daughter before the vaccine.

Brittney was always very vibrant, outgoing, active and involved with children and teens at church. She loved to sing, coach the teen girl’s quiz team, teach children’s church and perform in drama/musicals. Britt became involved with paintball her senior year in high school and loved to hike, swim, lift weights and run windsprints as well.

She was an excellent student, completing both her junior and senior years during the 2003-2004 school year.

A severe case of mono when she was fifteen slowed her down and got her behind (she was ill for six months). By 2006 she was feeling better than ever. She hiked sand dunes and park trails to build up her leg muscles and made the Dean’s list at college. As a family we joined a rec center in 2007, as a result of her father’s back surgery – it was a great way for both Brittney and her dad to build up core strength.

What made you decide to get the Gardasil vaccine? (Was there a local mandate, or pressure from the doctor, or did marketing play a part in your decision?)

Brittney went to our former family doctor to have a cyst removed fifteen days after her 21st birthday. At that time she was pressured, then frightened into taking Gardasil.

The doctor told her she could be infected by the dangerous forms of HPV by holding hands with someone who was sweating or through a lab accident at college.

How many vaccines did she get before there was a reaction? How long after the vaccine did you start seeing the change in her? How long has it been since the last vaccine?

Within a week after her first injection she had an absence seizure followed by syncope. Since none of us had seen an absence seizure before we did not realize what was happening to her or why.

She explained to us that she couldn’t respond or move during a conversation with a friend. A floating sensation came over her and a darkness closed in on her. Her friend thought she had died since her eyes were fixed and staring, then she slumped over. This occurred at least twice after the first injection that we know of.

She also experienced severe leg pain 11 days after the first shot. It hit her while she was in line at an amusement park. The pain was so intense it knocked her down. She described the pain as her legs being hit by by a sledge hammer over and over again. A friend had to help her since it took her breath away and she couldn’t think straight. This sensation lasted 15 minutes. The pain left, but would return in low levels on and off during the next couple months. She would have to rest on occasion while hiking due to the dull pain in her legs. (Three weeks after the initial injection Britt began to lose control of her temper – something we hadn’t experienced with her before. She told me later that there was indescribable pain in her body that made her feel like she was coming out of her skin.)

Within a week of receiving the second injection of Gardasil she began to experience head “pressure”, not pain, at first. After three weeks the head pressure built up to the point her jaw became so tight she could barely open her mouth when speaking. Then fluid built up on the back of her neck at the base of her skull. The divot at the base of her skull filled in and has remained this way for two years.

Besides the pressure and fluid build-up, Britt experienced swelling in her face, micro strokes, loss of balance, nausea, severe hammering leg pain constantly, eventual loss of leg use, sensitivity to light, highly sensitive hearing and taste – as well as super sensitivity to touch. She began having burning, prickling and tingling sensations in her legs and arms, head and tongue. Brain fog came on and then her pupils became abnormally large. Her vision blurred and is to this day.

She has abnormal pupillary function as well. During the next several months she went from the absence seizures to full tonic/clonic seizures. She was seen in emergency during the first three weeks after the second for the fluid build up at the base of her skull (no diagnosis) and then spent a week in a well known clinic when one specialist concluded she was having some sort of neurological problem (GBS). She was released with no diagnosis again after five days. She was confined to a wheelchair for a long time. There is also a suspicious rash that covered her shoulders and back after the second shot. Her GI tract became inflamed to the point she could barely digest any foods. Her weight dropped to such frightening levels we feared for her life.

Britt did not receive the third injection. She needed help getting dressed, taking a shower, needed all of her meals brought to her and someone had to be with her at all times.

A friend of Britt’s sent us some info about side effects to Gardasil around the time she was seen at the clinic. No one took this new Gardasil info seriously except us. Since Brittney couldn’t read at this point, I began to research everything and anything I could find about Gardasil. That was the fall of 2007.

From September 2007 to December 2008 I would be up all hours with my daughter due to pain, burning prickles, creeping numbness in her legs, severe head pressure that left her unconscious, and frequent seizure activity. My sister came to stay often, just to give me a break. We would both work on her legs and arms, massaging them for hours trying to stop the numbness/ paralysis from winning.

My daughter began a journey that changed all our lives as a family after Gardasil. We couldn’t go anywhere as a family, or do the most ordinary of activities due to Brittney’s worsening condition. Her father has been devastated by what has happened to his little girl.

What is your daughter like now? What challenges are present in her life and how has your life as a parent changed?

As of this writing, Brittney no longer has seizures. I read where a vitamin deficiency could cause seizures, along with other physiological conditions other than Epilepsy. Several doctors tried to tell us that if it isn’t epilepsy, it’s a conversion disorder. This only made me more determined to prove them wrong. I upped Britt’s doses of vitamin D complex and B complex. The result was no more seizures.
Brittney can now dress herself again, take showers (though I monitor her progress out of fear) on her own, and has been able to walk with cuff crutches for up to 1/2 an hour on very good days. Her legs are numb from the knees down – she has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Her legs still give out without warning, hence she’s never left alone. Her eyes are still blurry, the abnormal pupillary function continues and she always wears sunglasses in bright light. Head and neck pressure continue to be a severe problem.

We are currently looking for a neurologist who can help with the spinal fluid flow. This is problematic as she has seen so many neuros in our area who told us she was fine or had mental problems.

Britt now has a great Chiro/nutritionist/homeopathic doctor who has helped her GI tract issues and brought some of the pain under control. This doctor placed her on the gluten-free/casein-free/refined and artificial sugar-free diet that has improved many other Gardasil victims. She is now back to where her normal weight should be and is maintaining it.

Why is it important to you to speak out against Gardasil?

This vaccine is genetically modified, full of dangerous fillers that trigger frequent auto-immune disorders that bring prior conditions and/or latent issues to the surface. Brittney’s mono was reactivated to an unheard of level and the myocitis returned in an aggressive manner. The head/neck pressure and spinal fluid problems are a puzzler for everyone, at least to date.

Also, this vaccine has a very short research period and there is no proof that it really is effective against cervical cancer as the pharmaceutical company advertises it to be. Further, we have been in contact with many other Gardasil victims with many of the same symptoms as Britt. I’ve consulted with several doctors and vaccine research scientists who do not believe that Gardasil is safe or effective. Too many girls have not only been injured, but have died after receiving this vaccine.

Anything else?

Yes – everyone deserves to know the whole truth before blindly rushing out to take an unproven vaccine.

Image: provided by the Fiste family. That is Brittney on her 21st birthday.

Follow me on Twitter, where you can contact me if you have a story you’d like to share.


  1. Doctors and all their meds and vaccines. Thank you for sharing Brittany’s story. It’s heartbreaking.

  2. Yikes. Thanks for sharing that Cate.

  3. Here’s something about the Gardasil vaccine I didn’t know: “The U.S. government requires female immigrants between the ages of 11 and 26 to receive Gardasil shots before they can become citizens.”

    This is all way out of control. And now think of the fear that’s being used for the swine flu vaccine.

  4. Thanks for your story Roxie … they are all the same … menstrual issues, seizures. This was a huge experiment to see how much a person could tolerate before they were killed. Shame on our government for doing this to us. The FDA should be held accountable. I am disgusted that this could happen in America.

  5. Thank you Cate and Roxie for this article. There are so many young ladies that are having adverse affects from this vaccine. The CDC contiues to state that those adverse affects are not caused by Gardasil. How many more young women and girls will be injured or die before the FDA and the CDC do something. There is no way that all these young girls could be having these similar affects and they have all had the Gardasil vaccine, and it be a coincidence. The vaccine will be like the Vioxx. What 26,000 died and how many injured before they decided,” Oh yea something must be wrong.” They are not the ones who are crying every day because they do not know what is wrong with their daughters or if they will live. It is not them that cry because their daughters are no longer here.

  6. Rosemary Mathis says:

    Thanks so much for this article that will enable parents to make an informed decision about Gardasil. My child was also injured and I am so proud of Roxie and Brittney for educating others on the harm that has occured. I will remember this child and all the other Girls of Gardasil in my prayers because I know first hand what harm it causes. No child should be ONE LESS because of this vaccine.

    Thanks Kate for such powerful reporting.

  7. BAD DRUG, BAD FDA, BAD GOVERNMENT! WOMEN HAVE RIGHTS, PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS…NO GOVERNMENT SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED TO TELL US WHAT “WE” THE PEOPLE HAVE TO DO WITH OUR BODIES! OUR BODIES, OUR LIFE, OUR CHOICE… AMERICA … PEOPLE OF THE FREE, right… we came here to be free, live free. NH motto says it best… “Live free or die” This drug is a disgrace to our nation, and all that we are suppose to stand for…WE should all stand up and fight for your children, and the mother of our children and our grandchildren… our future depends on it! This story made cry so much for Brittney and her family, BUT it INFURIATES ME TO NO END, that the Government and Doctors, don’t even admit that THEY are to BLAME for her ALL OF new TROUBLES … thanks to this AWFUL NASTY VACCINE.

  8. Good Article with lots of truths. My daughter is among the girls that have had their lives changed with Gardasil. We thought we were doing the right thing. I did not research it, I trusted it would be okay. My daughter has never had a reaction to vaccines, until this one. It has been a horrible experience. I pray everyday for her to get her life back. Our lovely DR told us she needed to see a psych. She must be suppressing something. Yeah, it’s called, GARDASIL!!

  9. Teresa Allen says:

    My 16 yr old daughter, Kristyn, was also injured by Gardasil. She had 2 of the 3 injections (Jan 9th and March 9th, 2009). Before Gardasil, she was a happy, healthy and vibrant teenager. Since Gardasil she is sick every day of her life. She has dizziness, overall weakness, numbness and tingling in both legs and left arm, back pain, neck pain, pressure headaches, vision problems, breathing problems, chest pains, racing heartbeats, brain fog, stomach problems, nausea, diarhea, weight loss, hair loss, jerking all over spells…the list goes on and on.

    She was an A/B student but failed her 10th grade year because she was too sick to retain what she was trying to learn (brain fog). She no longer has the energy to go off with her friends. Most days she lays in bed, in pain.

    This just doesnt happen to a healthy teenager!! And it just doesnt happen to THOUSANDS of other girls with no connection except they all had the Gardasil vaccine.

    It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

    Please educate yourself as much as you can before you allow a doctor to push this unproven and unsafe vaccine on your daughter! The guilt is overwhelming from a mothers’ standpoint! I thought I was doing something to protect my daughter. Instead, I allowed the doctor to inject poison into my child and take away her life!

  10. Wow! This is scary. My teen sister (who I am also surrogate Mama to) had all three vaccines… she spent her freshman year deathly ill (prior to vaccines)… once she recovered and we went in for a check up, they wanted to update her shots which she hadn’t received while she was ill due to her suppressed immune system. I said Ok because they were all follow ups to what she’d had previously and our Mom (who was still alive but dieing from a horrific disease) was okay with the Gardasil, why not offer protection against deadly cancer if it was available and safe. This was two years ago… I hadn’t linked any of her issues since to the vaccine, but to her long illness before. Now, I’m wondering if it could be related… she has had several of the symptoms that Gardasil victims have had. My other girls will definitely NOT be getting this vaccine. Instead, they will be taught abstinence… because that’s what really saves us from HPV and other STD’s.

  11. For their ‘safety’ study, Merck divided the girls into 3 groups initially. One got the vaccine, another got a placebo (saline) and another got an aluminium containing ‘control’. The number getting the saline placebo was very small relative to the other groups. For the minor side effects all three were compared separately. Not surprisingly those getting the placebo had significantly less side effects than the other two groups. However, for the the serious side effects Merck grouped the aluminium and the saline cohorts together. The number of saline recipients was very small so its results were completely overwhelmed by the aluminium containing group. Because there wasn’t a significant difference between the two groups in terms of side effects Gardasil was declared to be completely safe! Merck are guilty of two things: 1) gross scientific fraud; and 2) as they deliberately injured teenage girls (to make their vaccine look good), grievous bodily harm against all the girls in the study.

    If you think this is some sort of conspiracy theory and couldn’t possibly be true – well the information comes straight from Merck themselves: http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_pi.pdf

  12. I’m sorry this happened to your daughter. You may want to look into cranio-sacral therapy to help her spinal fluid issues. Good luck!

  13. denise durden says:

    My daughter became ill after the second shot also…since then we have had numerous trips to the er..and in the hospital…she was going through the police academy when it all started…she is now on light duty for the past year….she has seizures, headaches, blackouts, brain fog, raid heart rates, out of control blood pressure, severe leg pains, hurts all over, never feels good, tired all the time…PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW NOT TO TAKE GARDISIL!!!!! Our lives are forever changed and it is getting worse

  14. I created this website, after learning about the bad effects of Gardasil; it progressed to what you find there, over about 14 months time. The truth top to bottom.


  15. Thank you for sharing Brittney’s story. I was scared into having the vaccine as well. I only had the one shot but had many of the symptoms listed above including vision problems, digestive issues and that horrible creeping excruciating leg pain- by far the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life!

    Two years on, I am starting to get better- but am still not 100%. I can’t believe this drug is being forced on young women and the side effects being ignored by most in the medical profession.

    It’s disgraceful. Wishing Brittney and every other woman suffering out there all the best in their recovery. Merck should be ashamed!

  16. Geertje Vanderwal says:

    After reading this I am wondering if she has not gotten fibromyalgia as a result of the weaken immune system. Many of the symptoms sound like mine as a result of a car accident. The pain in the legs and weakness in the legs and falling as the knees give way, numbness, I found for that taking 12 00IU of Vitamin E makes such a difference. I also found B12 injections to be the most effective over taking B in pill form. I have found nothing that worked on the fluid build up were the brain and the spine connect, just when the numbness moves more into my face I start taking Ibuprofen, 2 extra strength every half hour till it subsides. I was told if I don’t keep it under control there will be more brain damage. But the pressure band is always there , and has been for 18 years. The walking and not falling improved after about three years.

    I wish you and your daughter good heath, I am so glad I advised my sister against having her daughters vaccinated for this. I have a son and he will not be receiving the male version of the vaccination.

  17. Brian Chandler says:

    These drug companies know exactly what they are doing to us. They have been putting cancer viruses in the vaccines since the 1930’s. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and Presidential frontrunner for the Republican Party signed an executive order outside of the Texas legislature “mandating” the Gardisil vaccine while taking campaign contribution money from Merck. If you want you children to be mamed and brutalized like this poor child, then vote for Rick Perry.

  18. Douglas Drobbin says:

    HEARTBREAKING story, told over and over again and nothing is being done to protect all the citizens of this once great nation. Big Pharma and others , in the name of money and greed and power have control over us, it’s not a government of the people, its a government bought by big business and $$. They should all be ashamed. Every vaccine injured person is welcome in my chiropractic office free of charge, perhaps normal function can be restored.

  19. Very heartbreaking story. I am shaking in my boots just last month at my daughters physical I was being pressured to agree on the HPV vaccine. Doc said its recommended they should have it now. Said it will protect them long time. I was thinking and thinking almost said “Ok” but then said “no, next time”. They are too young anyways. Only 10 and 12. So relieved I declined….. now me thinking what if…..I didn’t?? :(
    Hope Brit is doing better and healing every day. Prayers and hugs


  1. […] of getting themselves or a loved one the Gardasil vaccine, but especially if they are, should read. Recently, Gardasil researcher Dr. Diane Harper spoke out against the vaccine, warning parents to […]

  2. […] » See also: The Girls of Gardasil: Brittney’s Story […]

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