The grieving fiancée of Dunedin plumber Rory Nairn, who died shortly after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, has told an inquest over hearing him collapse.
The 26-year-old Dunedin man, who received his first Pfizer vaccine on Nov. 5, died at his home on Nov. 17, after initially complaining of chest pain.
Coroner Sue Johnson acknowledged the loss of the family and paid her respects to them and Nairn’s fiancée, Ashleigh Wilson.
The inquest was a fact-finding and not a trial, she told the High Court of Dunedin on Tuesday morning.
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What Nairn died of – myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle – was accepted.
The inquiry was about establishing the facts about Nairn’s death and considering any recommendations that could prevent future deaths, the coroner told the inquest, which had a packed public gallery.
Policy decisions about vaccinations were not part of her role, but she would look into the information about Nairn’s vaccination, including the advice he was given, she said.
In the afternoon, the inquest learned that the pharmacy administering Nairn’s vaccination may have breached its obligations.
The operations manager, who was in charge of the pharmacy’s vaccination program and name-killing, said she didn’t check the Department of Health’s website for up-to-date advice, but instead relied on emails and the Southern District Health Board to help. to keep her informed.
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She also could not remember or misunderstand the various emails sent to health professionals in July, August and September 2021 about the need to state the risks of myocarditis and its symptoms when administering the vaccine.
“A million documents are coming in, we’re doing our best,” she said.
She thought the advice was intended for customers who called the pharmacy with symptoms, and not at the time of vaccination.
The pharmacist who administered the vaccine, who also has name suppression, said Nairn failed to take one of the information sheets provided.
She could not recall Nairn having any side effects during the required waiting period after receiving the vaccine.
She didn’t tell Nairn about myocarditis symptoms because she followed her company’s instructions.
When asked if the staff should read from a script or give advice, the manager replied: “yes, because we are not McDonald’s”.
‘Worst decision of our lives’
Earlier on Tuesday, Wilson brought several items to the inquest, including a wedding ring Nairn never wore, a list of their hands and a large photo.
Nairn was her first boyfriend and after a few years apart, they rekindled their relationship when she was 21. They had been together for six years when he died.
Wilson said Nairn was hesitant to vaccinate, but the couple wanted to continue their marriage in March 2022 and were aware of the government’s vaccine mandates.
On Nov. 5, the couple, who had just bought their home, made the “worst decision of our lives” when they walked past a pharmacy in Dunedin and Nairn decided to get vaccinated, she said.
Later that night, Nairn rubbed his chest at a family dinner and said he felt “weird”.
He also complained of headaches and a sore elbow most days.
On the morning of Nairn’s death, Wilson heard him get up and complain that he wasn’t feeling well.
She insisted that he go to the hospital, which he agreed to.
Wilson heard him collapse in the bathroom before they could leave, and couldn’t open the door.
“I yelled his name, but he didn’t respond,” she said.
Wilson called 911 and could see Nairn’s body through a crack in the door.
“I saw that he was dead.”
She told the inquest that she later saw on his phone that he had looked up vaccine-related side effects on a government website.
The couple had just bought their dream home, were planning a wedding and had plans to start a family.
Wilson said she suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder from “watching the love of my life die.”
She had experienced death threats and intimidation because Nairn’s death was linked to the vaccine, and blamed the media, she said.
She had lost friends and her family “has been blown apart”.
The couple had their whole lives to look forward to, but now “that’s all over”.
“My heart is broken again.”
Wilson, under coroner’s questioning, said weeks after it happened, she was in denial about the vaccine’s involvement in her fiancé’s death. She said a social media post she made saying he had previous symptoms was to stop the never-ending social media posts
Nairn had no previous significant health problems and an autopsy later found that his death was “consistent with vaccine-related myocarditis”.
Brett Nairn said his son was an avid fighter and played rugby. He recalled complaining of chest pain after Nairn received the vaccine.
About 170 deaths have been reported from Covid vaccinations at the Center for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM). One death was determined by the coroner to be due to myocarditis after a first dose. Two others were likely – including Nairn – but were waiting for the coroner to put the finishing touches.
“To date, the observed number of deaths reported following vaccination is actually less than the expected number of natural deaths,” says the latest adverse event safety report.
Covid-19 has killed more than 1,800 people in New Zealand.