“One of the hardest things for a mother to hear is your daughter will not be able to have children … People need to know these risks are very real.”
Kayla Carrillo was 12 when she received the Gardasil HPV vaccine on Aug. 17, 2012. A happy, talented, physically active girl, Kayla enjoyed playing musical instruments and had early ambitions to study art.
Marlena Carrillo allowed her daughter Kayla to receive the Gardasil vaccine because she had seen numerous advertisements from Merck vouching for the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in preventing cervical cancer.
A day after the first injection, Kayla had a seizure-like episode which included a staring spell, facial swelling, slurred speech and a severe headache. She later developed severe migraine headaches, abdominal pain and a host of other debilitating health issues.
Five months after her first shot, Kayla experienced a seizure and was taken to the emergency room. Around this time, she was also coping with irregular menstrual problems, including heavy bleeding at the beginning of each cycle.
Her health continued to deteriorate after she received another dose of the Gardasil vaccine. Just two days after the second shot, Kayla collapsed during P.E. class and was rushed to the emergency department of Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Kayla has undergone at least one surgery per year on her reproductive organs since the age of 15. Doctors say she will not be able to get pregnant and will not be able to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“One of the hardest things for a mother to hear is your daughter will not be able to have children,” says Marlena Carrillo. “Having to be the one to tell your daughter that she won’t be able to get pregnant is a pain that is beyond words. People need to know that these risks are very real. They need to know exactly what they are getting into with Gardasil.”
Kayla’s clinical diagnoses include dysautonomia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), orthostatic intolerance (OI), small fiber neuropathy (SNF), neuropathy, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), seizure disorder and endometriosis, among many others.
Due to these and other injuries, Kayla is unable to hold down a job for any significant amount of time.