Transcription – English – Tania Tavernier (mother) and Nicole Minnikin

23. Tania, mother of Deana and Nicole Minnikin.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

23. Tania, mother of Deana and Nicole Minnikin.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Tania Tavernier:
First, I wanted to thank you for having us as part of your life. My name is Tania Tavernier. I'm the mother of Deanna and Nicole Minnikin. I'm here. Born December the eighth and passed away November 23rd, 2021, after suffering a seizure. And. One one.

Trish Wood:
Yeah, I think we're going to have to dial back in.

Tania Tavernier:
Yeah. It was 19 years old, living in Alberta. Hello? Yeah. Hi. You not hear me?

Trish Wood:
We're having a bit of an internet connectivity issue, so I'm wondering if it's advisors tech here somewhere. Who can tell me what to do? Should we.

Tania Tavernier:
Do? I need to speak up?

Trish Wood:
Do you turn off? What? Do you have any devices connected to the wi fi system that you're on right now? Anything you can turn on?

Tania Tavernier:
Baby, I'm going to say no. Our phones are off, but she's just to get a double check.

Trish Wood:
And if you have any. Yeah.

Tania Tavernier:
Should it be all off?

Nicole Minnikin:
It's all off now.

Trish Wood:
Sorry.

Nicole Minnikin:
Tv's off to. Thank you.

Tania Tavernier:
Now we do have one or two more things. Apparently, we can shut down. It's being shut down now.

Trish Wood:
Brilliant. That even sounds better already. Whatever you just did. So let's.

Tania Tavernier:
Okay. So I can go ahead.

Trish Wood:
Yeah, why don't we? That was pretty glitchy. And I think it's important that people really hear clearly what you have to say. So if you don't mind, I'd be really grateful if you could start over for us. Thank you. I'm so sorry. Thank you.

Tania Tavernier:
My name is Tania Tavernier. I thank you for having us a part of your alliance. I'm the mother of Deanna and Nicole Minkin. I'm here today to talk on behalf of Deanna Dominican. She was born December the eighth, 2001, passed away November the 23rd, 2021 from a seizure in 2021. Deanna was 19 years old, living in Alberta with her boyfriend, Rylan Smith. Let me start by saying that prior to being COVID vaccinated, Deanna had no history of. The injuries.

Nicole Minnikin:
This.

Tania Tavernier:
Seizures, chronic illness, effort to build Deanna saved as much of her health information as she could in a file that was given to us after her death. Along with the research she was doing herself on seizures and how it relates to the COVID vaccine. We are now trying to fill gaps in what happened through formal requests for medical information from the Alberta health care system. Perhaps someday we'll have the answers. Today marks exactly seven months since Deanna died. We still have not received her official cause of death. From the Alberta government, we're being told that the backlog of sudden death investigations are so large that it could be another six months before we get any answers. Like many of us, Deanna believed it was her social responsibility to get vaccinated and help flattening the curve. During the COVID pandemic, she believed that by getting the vaccine, she would no longer be able to get COVID or pass it along to someone else at risk. She believed, based on the information we were told by government and health officials that it was safe. On May the 28th. At 1140 in the morning, Deanna went for her first vaccine, shot with the Pfizer. What made the 29th less than 24 hours after her receiving her vaccine dose. Deanna was taken to the hospital by ambulance after suffering a seizure in the early morning hours. Her discharge records indicate a quote from the physician. Interestingly, had Pfizer vaccine dosed yesterday. Event reported to EFI. Deanna was also referred to the neurology after exactly one month from receiving her first dose. She contracted COVID in her social circle, had to quarantine with a slight. The only symptom she had was a slight, slimy cough. On July the 27th, she had her EEG at the neurology clinic in Calgary, and Deanna told Rylan that there was nothing to note of yet, and that another follow up EEG was required on the 28th of July and again was very excited to start her new job with Canada Post.

Tania Tavernier:
Despite her reporting adverse reactions to the first COVID vaccine, no medical professional that treated Deanna warned her that she could be at risk if she took the second shot. In fact, she was encouraged to get the second shot and her reward for doing so was a $100 Visa card by the Alberta government, which was received in December of 2021. Still on cash. On October 1st, 2:40 p.m.. Deanna received her second COVID Pfizer vaccine on the morning of October 2nd. Once again, less than 24 hours, she experienced her second seizure. She missed her shift at work because it was the weekend she couldn't contact her doctor for advice on what to do. She reached out to the 811 Alberta health line for assistance, and they informed her that if she needed help to go to the hospital, they encouraged her to go to the hospital. She was confused. She had a headache. She wasn't thinking clearly. Deanna ultimately chose not to go to the hospital that day and instead to speak to her family doctor on the following Monday. We have no record as to what happened when Deanna saw her doctor, nor do we know if she received another EEG and what the results were. On the evening of November the 10th. The RN has her third seizure, causing her to hit her head and do substantial damage to her tongue. She was seen and emerged that. I was prescribed a progressive dose.

Trish Wood:
Okay. We're having another technical issue. Can you can you hear me? Yeah, I'm afraid we're. We're. We're having another technical problem. Hello? Are you. Are you able to hear me?

Nicole Minnikin:
What?

Tania Tavernier:
Five milligrams, which is what we can hear.

Trish Wood:
Sorry. You're you're there's the glitchy ness in the in the in the Internet is coming back and it's really obscuring. Your message. So I'm hoping we can maybe get you to dial back in through Zoom.

Tania Tavernier:
I think we're right here.

Trish Wood:
Let's see if we can. We can fix.

Nicole Minnikin:
It. I think this is better.

Tania Tavernier:
Than a back seat.

Nicole Minnikin:
Here.

Trish Wood:
We're going to get this sorted and go back because this is a really, really important story. We want it very much so. Bear with us while we sort it out.

Nicole Minnikin:
I just had to switch to my phone. I don't know what the computer is doing, but we are here now.

Trish Wood:
Perfect. Yeah. Phones always better in these circumstances. So I'll tell you where, where, where you left off. I'm sorry to make you do this again, but it was right after you said she'd had a seizure. She'd done substantial damage, as I understand it, to her tongue. And then she you were talking about what happened in the hospital. I believe if you could pick it up there, we'd be grateful and sorry again for the the.

Tania Tavernier:
Technical trouble in the.

Nicole Minnikin:
Evening.

Tania Tavernier:
Not a problem. On the evening of November the 10th, Deanna had her third seizure, causing her to hit her head and do substantial damage to her tongue. She was seen in emergency that evening and was prescribed a progressive dose of lamotrigine and 25 milligrams, which within 30 days would be a dose of four pills a day. And although unlimited refills, which was taken by Deanna to believe that she would have to take this medication for the rest of her life, she was told she could not drive or swim for at least six months. By November 13th, Deanna was suffering so many negative side effects from the lamotrigine that she once again sought medical attention at emergency. The results of this visit are not known to us, however. November the 18th, she was seen by another doctor in the neurology clinic and was still on probation at Canada Post and missing a lot of shifts due to the ongoing medical issues. On the morning of November the 23rd, 2021, Deanna suffered her fourth and final seizure. She was found by Raylan, unresponsive in the bathtub. As a young adult, Deanna had very little experience navigating the health system. She was going to emergency at a time when family members and her family were not allowed to accompany their loved ones. Her ability to fully grasp what was happening or being told by the hospital could have been impaired as she had just suffered a seizure. She had no one to ask questions on her behalf or help recall instructions that may have been given to her. No one to witness anything that she was going through. This is not right and does not reflect the principles of the values of our health care system. The loss we have suffered as a family is immeasurable. But unfortunately, our story doesn't end with Deanna. Her sister, Nicole, will now share her equally painful story of loss and what happened to her. After receiving the COVID vaccine.

Trish Wood:
Thank you very much.

Nicole Minnikin:
Hi. I'm Nicole Minnikin. I'm 25 and I live in Ontario. I'm sorry. My story begins February 20, 21. I became pregnant with my second child. My pregnancy was progressing normally. However, usually I have hyperemesis. Because of this, my doctor encouraged me to get the COVID vaccine. I express my concerns regarding the vaccine safety because I was five months pregnant. Pregnant, and my sister had just had serious reactions within 24 hours of her first shot. Despite my concerns, it was still my doctor's opinion that I that getting the COVID vaccine would be a greater start. Getting COVID would be a greater danger to me than the. I'm just very. Getting covered would be a greater danger to me and the baby than getting the vaccine. At that time, I trusted my doctor. On June 19th, 2021, I repeat, I received my first vaccine, the Pfizer shot. Two days after receiving the vaccine, abdominal cramping began. 6 to 7 days after receiving the vaccine, I began bleeding and went into a merge. An ultrasound was done and I was told the baby was okay and that some people just experienced periods during the pregnancy. I've never heard this before actually, but I'm not a doctor.

Nicole Minnikin:
I asked the emergency staff if the vaccine dose I received could have caused any of these issues. It couldn't be possible is what I got. Bleeding stopped after a couple of days after the visit. On the evening of June 30th, 11 days after my vaccine, I began to feel pain similar to contractions. After a few hours of pain, I went for a shower where my water broke. I had a brown discharge. We called the ambulance, and during the ride to the hospital, I felt as if the baby was coming. I was told to try to not push. We went in the emergency where the fetal monitoring was relieved distress and I was admitted within 30 minutes to maternity ward. Where I was continuously told to resist the urge to deliver until my OB came. During this time, I was not given any medication to try and stop the contractions or hooked up to an IV. An OB arrived after my son Conner was born stillborn. The OBE explained that the placenta has erupted, causing the stillbirth and out of following up and following up. I'm so sorry.

Tania Tavernier:
I'm going to read for her, if that's okay.

Nicole Minnikin:
Sure.

Tania Tavernier:
The OB's explanation the placenta ruptured, causing the stillbirth and follow up was recommended with the OB within two weeks. I went to my family. Nicole went to her family doctor a week later for answers with concern with what had happened was vaccine related as well as for mental and emotional support. She was not in a good place, she admits, being very upset and questioned the doctor's advice that she gets vaccinated during pregnancy and what happened to Conner because of the vaccine. The doctor became defensive and rather than offer the support I needed, told me not to argue and indicated that my extreme reaction can result. It has resulted in one strike against me and that in order to remain a patient in her practice, I would need to be fully vaccinated. Once again, I was being told that what had happened had nothing to do with the vaccine. She also said there was no reason why I couldn't get pregnant again right away. I needed a family doctor. She needs a family doctor. So she decided to trust her advice. And she got the second shot on July the 23rd, 2021. Nicole received her second Pfizer vaccine. She noticed changes in her menstrual cycles following the vaccine. They were lasting longer than before she got pregnant. She began to try to get pregnant right away, and by October 21 was expecting again. And then miscarried in early December. On December the eighth, wasn't it? I think my relationship with the doctor has now since since January 22 and indicated as she would not get any further vaccines. Based on her health experiences and the death of her sister.

Nicole Minnikin:
That she received her second vaccine.

Tania Tavernier:
But she's no longer has her family doctor to support her.

Nicole Minnikin:
In the next endeavors in dealing with other complications that I'm dealing with. The clinic,

Tania Tavernier:
An after hours clinic.

Nicole Minnikin:
Yes.

Tania Tavernier:
So she has an after hours clinic to start navigating, getting pregnant.

Nicole Minnikin:
Again.

Trish Wood:
Starting your family has really suffered an enormous amount of loss, hasn't it? How old was Deanna?

Tania Tavernier:
19.

Nicole Minnikin:
19 to turn 22.

Tania Tavernier:
Weeks before her 20th birthday.

Trish Wood:
I'm going to pass to the panel. I'm sure they have questions and comments for you. Thank you very much for doing this. It must have been enormously difficult. Thank you.

Tania Tavernier:
Thank you for listening.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. And there's been a pause here because I think we're all quite speechless at trying to take this in. So it's not because we don't have anything to say, it's because we're just trying to process what you have said and please accept our sympathies. We are quite sad at the loss of your family has endured. With DNA. It struck me because my son is a late November 2001 child. So right at the beginning of your story, it got me personally.

Tania Tavernier:
From an extra hug when you go home.

Nicole Minnikin:
Thank you.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
I'm just I'm just curious, though, Nicole, about this. How did your family doctor terminate your your relationship with her? I didn't quite catch the process that you went through was because you declined to get a booster shot.

Nicole Minnikin:
In the message or in the letter I received. Apparently, I was aggressive at one point. I maybe I understand the different. I don't know. And that because I. Would question her. I. My trust in her was weaning after my loss of Connor. She felt that because I didn't trust her. That. There was no point of her being my doctor anymore.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
Was there any assistance to help you navigate getting another primary care professional?

Nicole Minnikin:
That's where.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
You're going. There's nothing no efforts to.

Tania Tavernier:
Transfer your the after hours clinic is what we have. Okay.

Nicole Minnikin:
And I've connected with health care. Connect on their waiting list, along with my daughter.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
Thank you.

David Ross:
Really? You know, I don't I don't know that any words could could really be helpful. I have no I have no questions. I just really feel the sadness over your story. I thank you for sharing it. My only hope is that because you've been so courageous and strong to do that, that that that others will. Will see that courage and that inner strength. And take and take courage from that and that others will share their stories as well. We're getting the impression that there are more stories that that should be told than we could possibly imagine. And it's very important, I think, that that your story be heard and we have heard you. So thank you very much.

Tania Tavernier:
Thank you for listening.

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