An Australian actress was fighting for life in intensive care after suffering a stroke caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine’s rare side effect on blood clotting.
Miss Stewart, 40, received her first dose of the Oxford-made vaccine on May 24 in London, where she lives with her husband and fellow actor Ben Lewis.
But two weeks later, she woke up with a strange sensation on the right side of her body.
As she tried to get out of bed, she collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where her condition quickly deteriorated as she lost all movement on the right side of her body and lost her ability. to speak.
“She started having seizures and was taken by ambulance to St George’s Hospital where neurosurgeons fought to save her life, removing a large part of her skull to reduce the pressure in her brain,” wrote a Danae parent in a GoFundMe page.
Actress Miss Stewart (pictured with husband Ben Lewis) suffered rare side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine
The artist ended up in intensive care, where she was diagnosed with vaccine-induced thrombocytopenic thrombosis, a rare side effect related to AstraZeneca’s jab.
Miss spent three weeks in a ventilator-induced coma after suffering a severe stroke, caused by two large clots in the main veins of her brain.
After spending nearly five weeks fighting for life in intensive care, she was transferred to an acute stroke unit where she began her rehabilitation, before being transferred to a specialist hospital in London on September 8.
The “fit and healthy” professional actress who had never been hospitalized before is now relearning to speak, walk and move her right arm and hand, and will remain in the hospital until 2022 when she is learning to adapt to her new life.
She is still taking anticoagulant and anti-epileptic drugs and will require another surgery to have a titanium plate installed in her skull to replace the part removed in a previous operation.
The popular actress (pictured in rehab) now has a long road to recovery ahead of her
Ms. Stewart will need a series of ongoing rehabilitative therapy costs, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychological therapy.
The couple’s home will also require changes before they are released from the hospital.
The family hope Ms Stewart will one day return to Australia when she is strong enough and the pandemic allows a safe return home.
Despite its heartbreaking side effects, Ms. Stewart “continues to defend vaccination.”
Family and friends have gathered around Ms Stewart and her husband, both of whom are described as fiercely independent and private.
Lewis has been his wife’s sole pillar of support throughout the ordeal, separated from his family stranded halfway around the world during the pandemic due to Australia’s international borders being closed.
The couple won’t be returning to the stage anytime soon as Lewis continues to be alongside his wife.
Ms. Stewart described getting the first jab on May 24 as a “happy day”. She was rushed to hospital two weeks later
A fundraiser launched to financially help Miss and her husband on her long road to recovery has so far raised nearly $ 165,000 of her goal of $ 200,000 in four days.
The outpouring of generosity and support prompted Lewis to break his silence about his wife’s ordeal.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to each of you from the bottom of my heart,” he wrote on Online Fundraising.
“To be honest, the last two days since the page went live have been completely overwhelming for both of us.
“I will do my best to thank you all personally, but please know that the support you have all shown has given Melle such a boost and reminded us of the power of love, friendship and community. at a time when the world has never felt so big.
“We feel truly blessed and humbled. “
It will be some time before Miss Stewart (pictured) returns to the stage after her life-changing ordeal
Family and friends from around the world gathered around Melle (pictured in the hospital)
Other family members have opened up in recent days about Ms Stewart’s private health battle.
“She got away with it, but her life changed forever,” Ms. Stewart’s brother-in-law, opera singer and actor Alexander Lewis wrote on Facebook.
“It’s hard to believe that someone as dynamic as Melle, who has worked on stages all over the world and recorded many audiobooks, is now relearning to walk and talk.
“Miss and my brother Ben will need a lot of emotional and financial support throughout their journey. “
AstraZeneca has been associated with an extremely rare blood clotting disorder.
Eight Australians died from blood clots after being injected with AstraZeneca.
Out of more than 12.6 million doses administered in Australia, 156 cases of TTS have been recorded.
Miss Stewart (pictured in hospital) will need more surgery in the coming months
Online fundraiser raised nearly $ 165,000 as Melle’s long road to rehabilitation continues
Compared to the virus, the risk of death is around 1.8% with 1,450 deaths in Australia in 130,000 cases.
The risk of dying from Covid-19 is 22,000 times higher than suffering fatal side effects from the vaccine, 550 times higher than the risk of being killed on Australian roads.
UK data suggests the risk of TTS is much lower with a second dose.
Born in Queensland, Ms Stewart graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and appeared on Seven soap Home and Away in 2011.
She is best known for her stage work in Australia and the UK where she has lived for the past nine years.
Miss Stewart (right) has spent the past nine years working in the UK. She is portrayed as Alice in the production of “A Damsel in Distress” in 2015.