By James Nye
25 November 2013
The bereaved mother of Utah teen is convinced her otherwise healthy son’s death was caused by a flu-shot he was given the day before he fell ill – in a case which baffled doctors.
In the obituary for her son, Chandler, 19, Lori Webb said that her son was given his first ever shot on October 15th after agreeing to travel on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
However, the day after receiving the flu and tuberculosis shots, the Brighton High School graduate began suffering sever vomiting and was admitted to hospital in Salt Lake City wehere he fell into a coma 24-hours later.
‘Sicker than he has ever been in his life. He says he’s never shook so hard his whole life. He had the worst headache, throw up, and he slept for about two and a half days and didn’t eat anything during that time,’ said Webb to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Chandler was ultimately taken off life support after a month in a coma and he died on Tuesday after 28 days in the hospital.
Chandler Webb’s direct cause of death was swelling of the brain, his mother said.
But Lori claims that it has to be the flu shot because her had never been ill before.
‘We’re angry because we believe it’s the flu shot that caused it,’ said Lori to the Salt Lake Tribune.
However, Chandler’s doctors have not discussed his case and public health officials repeated that the vaccine is safe and rarely has serious side effects.
Lori has decided not to have an autopsy, deciding that the results of a brain biopsy will be sufficient to determine the cause of death.
Chandler's medical team, which included six neurologists at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, tested him for every conceivable illness - including Lyme disease and sexually transmitted ones.
'They checked every virus, every fungus, ever tick, west nile they even checked for rabies,' said Webb. 'And they can't find anything...it was the most senseless, senseless, death.'
'This was his first flu shot,' Webb said. 'He’d never had one before.'
'I hate this. 'I hate that I have to bury my son.'
Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko said the state is aware of the case but can’t verify the cause of death or whether it is investigating.
The health department also has no record of anyone from Utah dying from a reaction to the vaccine, he said.
'Like with other medical procedures, there can be side effects and adverse reactions,' he said.
'In the vast majority of those cases the side effects are not very severe — soreness at the injection site, low fever, achiness. Occasionally, yes, there are more severe side effects from receiving the vaccine.'
130 million people nationwide, nearly half of Americans, get the flu vaccine every year and side effects are extremely rare.
Out of those 130 million people, about 140 people report serious side-effects.
Chandler Webb was described as a healthy teen, who visited the gym five days a week before he fell ill.
Lori Webb described how as her son was taken off life-support she cut his hair for the last time and told him the story of 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff', just as she did when he was a child.
'I can’t describe how hard it is to lose a child,' she said.