In April 2021, Jake Holliday, a single father of two from Indiana, was set to begin a new job as a home caretaker, having left his previous position of 10 years as a veterinary assistant.
That same month Holliday also received his first — and only — dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Holliday, now 37, recounted the serious adverse reactions that followed his vaccination and the difficulties he has since faced. He provided The Defender with documentation corroborating his account.
‘There were two blood clots inside my heart’
Holliday’s first symptoms appeared seven days after vaccination. He told The Defender:
“I started to feel slight chest pains, fatigue, shortness of breath and a rise of [my] heart rate that progressively got worse each day until the tenth day, when I had the worst chest pain of my life and had to call 911.”
What began as “slight chest pains” was actually far more serious.
“I learned I was having a ‘widowmaker’ type of heart attack due to two large blood clots inside my heart that required a heart catheter and two stents.
“I also learned I had myocarditis and struggled with ventricular fibrillation [VFib].”
The damage Holliday sustained to his health continues to adversely affect his life today. He explained:
“Because of the damage done to my heart I’m now in congestive heart failure with an ejection fraction of 10-25%, and I ended up having to get a subcutaneous ICD [implantable cardioverter-defibrillator] implant in the beginning of June 2022.
“I’m no longer able to work and have a hard time with anything that requires energy or exertion. Even something as minor as taking a shower can be difficult, which is why I have a shower chair now.”
Holliday continues to feel “real weak and fatigued” despite the many prescription drugs he’s taking.
“I’m now on Eliquis, Brilinta, isosorbide mononitrate, aspirin, lisinopril, carvedilol and atorvastatin,” he said. “I guess they are helping with prevention of another heart attack, blood clots and the VFib but I still feel real weak and fatigued all the time.”
Like other vaccine injury victims interviewed by The Defender, Holliday said some of his doctors have been “reluctant” to connect his symptoms to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My electrophysiologist is reluctant to admit the vaccine has anything to do with it … But my cardiologist does think it has something to do with it, and we are in the process of [filing] a VAERS [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System] report.”
Support from family, friends and the online community — but challenges, too
Holliday told The Defender he is fortunate to be supported by family and friends, but he has faced obstacles in some relationships.
“My family and friends have been real supportive, but it has caused major issues within my romantic life, due to erectile dysfunction from the heart damage and medications.”
He found online groups for vaccine-injured individuals, such as the Vaccine Injury/Side Effects Support Group founded by vaccine injury victim Catherine “Cat” Parker on Facebook, helpful, and s “met lots of vaccine-injured people” on Twitter.
Holliday has taken to Twitter to share his story and provide additional visibility to the stories shared by others like him. On Oct. 26, Holliday tweeted:
On Nov. 21, Holliday retweeted a post by journalist and author Ashley St. Clair about the suspension of independent journalist Savanah Hernandez from Twitter.
He explained that he is raising awareness because legal action against the vaccine manufacturers is “not an option”:
“I can’t work now and I’m having problems being approved for disability because approving me would mean they have to admit a reason for my disability.
“Filing a lawsuit for compensation is also not an option due to the immunity these vaccine companies have.”
Platforms such as Twitter are a means for him to get some measure of justice, Holliday said.
“I would like to tell my story as much as possible and participate in as many studies as I can because this isn’t right,” he said. “I want to do anything and everything I can to get my story out there in order to bring awareness to this issue.”