“We’ve been pushing and pounding down the doors of the federal government … and we’re still nowhere closer to getting these people help than we were a year ago.”
In this episode, we sit down with Brianne Dressen, who suffered adverse reactions after participating in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. She is the founder of react19.org, a research organization focused on long COVID and vaccine adverse events.
We also sit down with 13-year-old Maddie de Garay, who was severely injured while enrolled in the Pfizer vaccine clinical trial for children, and her mother Stephanie de Garay.
Editor’s Note: For viewers who have expressed concern about Maddie de Garay’s situation and would like to offer help, you can find her LifeFunder page here.
Jan Jekielek: Maddie and Stephanie de Garay, Brianne Dressen, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Brianne Dressen: Thanks for having me.
Stephanie de Garay: Thanks for having us.
Mr. Jekielek: Thank you for coming here, and we’re of course here ahead of this march that’s going to be happening on Saturday against vaccine mandates. I just want to highlight that because I keep seeing all this weird propaganda as press talking about it being anti-vaxxers or something, and it’s really clearly about being against vaccine mandates.
But you are in a particularly unusual situation in that you were very early vaccine adopters. Maddie, you were enrolled in the Pfizer trial. Brianne, you were enrolled in the AstraZeneca trial. Things didn’t go as you expected. So maybe, between Stephanie and Maddie, maybe you can just tell me your story to start.
Ms. de Garay: We had had some friends that were in the Pfizer trial, the adult trial, and had no problems. She had enrolled her son in it, so my son found out about it through him and signed up. Then my daughter and my other son heard that he was doing it and then they asked if they could do it as well. My husband and I had also signed up for a trial. It ended up being the AstraZeneca trial that was stopped, so that’s why we never were actually in the trial, so thank you for that.
Ms. Dressen: You’re welcome.
Mr. Jekielek: So Maddie, you were enrolled. So what happened?
Miss de Garay: I got my first vaccine December 31st and you get the second one … I had just the normal symptoms, like fever, tiredness, that stuff. Then I got my second one January 20th. Then in the middle of the night, I felt like I didn’t feel right. Then in the middle of the night, I felt sick, and I went into my parents’ room, which I never do, and I was like … They were like, “You don’t have to go to school.” But I don’t like missing school because then you have to make up work, so I was like, “No, I’ll go.” Biggest mistake.
Then I got there. I just kept getting worse throughout the day to the point where I could barely walk and I was in so much pain and I was so dizzy by third period. But I didn’t want to call my dad because then I’d have to go to the nurse and stuff, which I hated doing. So I just went through the day, and when I got home, I barely made it home off the bus and I went into my dad’s office and I started bawling my eyes out because I was in so much pain.
My back hurt, my stomach hurt, my head hurt, I had a fever of like 101-something. My toes were numb and they were ice cold and they were white, and same for my fingertips. We called the trial people, because that’s what they told us to do if you had any complications.
Ms. de Garay: They told us to go to … since-
Miss de Garay: Yes, they told us to go to the ER. Then, we went to the ER because these were symptoms that no one else had had. So we went to the ER. Then they basically did an ultrasound and then they did some blood tests, and I think some came back abnormal but they didn’t say anything about it, obviously, because they don’t want their vaccine to be having problems. So obviously, they’re going to protect it as much as they can. Then they sent us home.
We were there from like 5:00 until 10:00 and then we went home. Then I think it was like two days later, we went back to the ER because I had more symptoms and I was in even more pain. Then they kept checking for stuff and stuff would come back, but they would dismiss it and they would say, “It’s not a big deal.”
Then it just kept going on and then I got … My first admission was January 31st to the 2nd of February. Then I got admitted the second time March 7th … no, March 6th, and then I got out a week later on March 13th. They did an endoscopy and stuff and that’s the day that they diagnosed me with functional neurological disorder because they said with endoscopy and everything, even though the endoscopy did show stuff and the tests did show stuff … same for my MRI …
Then when I woke up from my MRI … because I had my MRI and endoscopy at the same time … I couldn’t walk. I tried to get up to go to the bathroom and I just collapsed. They were like, “Oh, it should go away tomorrow.” So I went to bed that night and then I woke up the next day and tried to walk and I collapsed again. They were like, “Oh, it should go away in a few days,” because they were like, “You can stay, but there’s nothing we’re going to do because you’re just going to wait it out.” And I was like, “Obviously, I want to go home.”
Then I progressively got worse. Oh, I also couldn’t eat at the time. That’s why we went in. So I couldn’t eat for a week before that. Then eventually, at the end of the admission, I could chug shakes because I didn’t want this-
Ms. de Garay: She couldn’t swallow, though.
Miss de Garay: Yes. But then I forced myself. But it got to the point where it was too much. I made it and then I was out of the hospital and then I couldn’t do it anymore. I did it for, like, a day and you had to do 10 shakes and every time, I thought I was going to throw up and I felt so sick from them because I had to chug them by a certain amount of time or they were going to put the feeding tube down me and I didn’t want that.
So we went home and then I couldn’t eat for a month after. We kept contacting them and contacting them, like, “It’s been a week. She can’t eat. It’s been two weeks. She still can’t eat. It’s been three weeks.” We kept trying to get them to do something and they wouldn’t do anything. Also, my walking was getting worse, so I was getting to the point where I couldn’t move. I couldn’t feel it at all, any of that, and then I got in.
They finally were going to put me in because I started having seizures from a medicine called Lyrica. I’d have 20 seizures a day. They wouldn’t necessarily knock me … Some of them would knock me unconscious, but some of them, I could also hear people talking. The only thing that woke me up was a sternal rub.It’s really painful and I had bruises all down my chest from it, and when I woke up, I was like, “It’s hard to breathe,” every time.
We went to the hospital and my blood sugar was super low. I was not doing good at all. We actually went to the hospital to get an EEG and stuff and to figure out my seizures, but then they eventually passed because [they] took me off the Lyrica. So we got admitted because my blood sugar was in the 40s, and a good blood sugar is 100 to 125. They said if we would have waited another day, I wouldn’t have made it. So then they gave me emergency glucose, but they gave me a lot. They gave me that big of a bottle because how low it was. But it ended up being way too much and then my blood sugar spiked to 600. Then I had a seizure type of thing.
I was there for like a week and then I got transferred downstairs to rehab and I was in rehab for like one and a half months. So I was there about two months. I was there from April 9th to June 1st, so almost three months. But the rehab people were super mean and I would cry every single day after to my mom while she was at work because my physical therapist said some mean things. She once said that if I wasn’t going to try, because I wasn’t fitting her standards of how quick … She was like, “If you aren’t going to try, then you might as well just leave, because there are other kids who need it more than you.”
Also, I don’t have much bladder control because I can’t feel, and I was using the commode and I finally started to be able to walk with a walker after a month, and then she was like … I’m like, “I don’t know if I’ll make it,” because she took away the commode. I’m like, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it,” since I was still really slow at walking with the walker and my legs went all over.
She’s like, “If a two year old can go to the bathroom by themselves, then you can.” Then she just kept saying stuff and then none of her stuff would work and then she would say I always argued with her because she would always yell at me. I would cry every single day after. I would call her because she would be at work and I would bawl my eyes out.
Then we weren’t making any … It was super slow progress and they just kept trying to give up on me, but I kept trying to push. Then there was a point where I was walking with a walker and they basically said, “If you don’t walk with a walker by the end of this week … without the walker …” it was like 250 feet … “Then we’re making you leave.”
Then they tried to send me to a mental hospital that they said was going to help with my eating, which they said was rumination syndrome, which it isn’t because rumination is when you chew it and you spit it up and then you chew it again, which is disgusting and I never did that. I just threw it up. It’s just nasty. I just threw it up. It would just come up, and they literally saw it.
So they tried to send us there and they said all these good things about it, that it would help me and that I would only have to be there for a week. But when we got there, they said I was going to have to squat down and make sure I wasn’t hiding anything. They were going to have to watch me to make sure I wasn’t purging, make sure I wasn’t exercising when I had none of that. I didn’t have an eating disorder or anything.
Ms. de Garay: She couldn’t even move right.
Miss de Garay: I could barely even walk. Then I wasn’t going to have my phone, I couldn’t have anything. Then they said I was going to actually have to be there for like three months, not a week. There were kids throwing glass, banging on doors, and they were really weird.
Ms. de Garay: I stopped the admission because they lied to us. If she would have been admitted, I’d have no control over getting her out. So they made me sign an against medical advice to stop the admission, so she never … We were in the admission-
Miss de Garay: They said they could have sent me to court or something.
Ms. de Garay: Yes, I would have to go to court. But I knew that from my husband, so … I called him-
Miss de Garay: But they said if it wasn’t safe for me, they’d have to send me to court for … I don’t even remember.
Mr. Jekielek: Because, I mean, basically, they were saying that this is some kind of mental condition, that it’s not a physical condition.
Miss de Garay: Yeah.
Ms. de Garay: Yeah. So she had blood in her urine. There’s just one example. If you have anxiety, which she doesn’t have, then you would not have blood in your urine. That’s not what happens. That’s just one example. If you have anxiety, you wouldn’t have a Chiari malformation that shows up on your MRI. If you have anxiety, it’s not going to make your red blood cells be high… Because I sent her [Brianne] my results and stuff. [I] had the experience. There’s lots of abnormal results and everything has been brushed off as, “Oh …” There’s always an explanation.
But then once we had other doctors start reviewing the records, they’re like, “Well, did they do this?” “Did they,” I forget all the different tests, “Because of the blood in the urine? Did they do a skin punch biopsy because of not being able to feel in her legs?” All the things that would have showed something, they didn’t do, and anything that did show something, there was always an explanation. “Oh, that’s because they had a tourniquet on for her blood-”
Miss de Garay: Which doesn’t make sense, because you have to use a tourniquet or something to help you get blood. And with that same blood test, they said that I was … for one of them that I wasn’t supposed to do my feed before, but they never told us that. But for another blood test in the same blood that they took, they were like, “Oh, well, you were supposed to have a feed before that.” So they made excuses for everything that showed up and then they were like, “Oh, well, that’s not that serious. That’s just mild.” Because it wasn’t like-
Mr. Jekielek: I mean, basically, you had this feeling like the doctors were kind of predisposed to dismiss the symptoms somehow—the physical symptoms. Is that what you’re basically saying?
Ms. de Garay: Yes. That’s what happened. Once we requested her medical records, the full records, you saw a lot more in the notes from doctors.
Miss de Garay: Oh, doctors, the nurses were all so mean. This one nurse accused me of dumping my formula down the drain because there was a little bit of formula in the sink, because you have to let the air out so you don’t get it in you. So you have to let the air out, and sometimes it’s hard to time it right so some gets in there. She said the sink drain was full of formula, which wouldn’t make sense at all because it’s a drain. And then she said I was going to the bathroom and not telling her, so then they had to watch me go to the bathroom. And it was still the same because I wasn’t lying. Then the doctor said that they had to do my feeds from now on.
Ms. de Garay: It’s almost like they tried to drive her crazy.
Miss de Garay: To make me a mental patient.
Ms. de Garay: Yeah. And it’s not unique to her. I mean, we’ve talked to lots of people and that’s what they do. They try to make you feel like you’re crazy.
Mr. Jekielek: Like what’s happening isn’t really happening.
Ms. de Garay: Right. Yes. Exactly.
Ms. Dressen: Tell them about the first ER-
Miss de Garay: Oh my God. The first ER. There were a ton of people in there. They were all old people, so it was an adult hospital. When I went in there, I couldn’t breathe and they were like, “Well, your stats are normal.” I was like, “Okay, well, I still can’t breathe.” And I was hyperventilating and he was like … The one doctor … They couldn’t catheterize me and the lady was like-
Ms. de Garay: She went into the hospital because her stomach was distended, just to get you a little bit … It looked like she was pregnant, and then she started vomiting so we took her to the ER. After she threw up, she started to not be able to breathe. So we get to the ER, she’s trying to breathe by hyperventilating, and we get in there and they check and her oxygen levels were fine. Nothing else was fine. So she was getting enough oxygen because she was compensating for it. They did an X-ray. It ended up her NG tube was in her esophagus, so that’s why she couldn’t breathe. And then her small and large bowels were totally full.
Miss de Garay: But the one doctor said … He came in when they were trying to catheterize, just came in, and then was like, “You are 13. You should not be crying and freaking out over this. You have anxiety and this is all anxiety, and you need to stop hyperventilating or else we’re going to shove a tube down your throat and put you on a ventilator.”
Ms. de Garay: So the problem is, once you have functional neurologic disorder in your charts, everybody can see your charts. Then nobody looks for … Because there was all this. There’s a real problem. There was a real problem. Her NG tube was in her esophagus which makes it hard to breathe.
Mr. Jekielek: People assume that it’s-
Ms. de Garay: They assume that it’s just anxiety, so they pump her with medicine, which makes her sicker.
Miss de Garay: They gave me Ativan, which didn’t do a thing, which was supposed to calm me down if you have anxiety, but it didn’t do a thing.
Ms. de Garay: So prior to all this, all she had was ADHD and dermatographia. Still has both of those, now a bunch more. She was totally healthy.
Mr. Jekielek: It sounds like you had some really challenging moments in these hospitals. Hard to fathom. What has been your experience through all this?
Ms. de Garay: So first of all, whenever they entered the trial, I thought if, in the slim chance, the rare chance anything happened, that they’d be in the best hands. If you’re going to have anything happen, the best time would be in a trial because they would do everything they could to get you better and to figure out why, because that’s the whole point of a trial. That’s not what happened, at all, at least in this trial, it was all about making the results look good.
So they quickly, before they did any tests, had that functional neurologic disorder not diagnosed, because they couldn’t until they did some tests, but they had it written in her … The first hospital of the first admission. So this is before an MRI, an endoscopy, before any significant tests. And this is when she had blood in her urine. That was like seven times she had blood in her urine, by the way. Not just once. So clearly, that’s a problem. Never did anything in order to check. So I mean, through my experience, what I’ve learned is when they say you have to advocate for your child … I never thought that I’d have to advocate this hard.
Miss de Garay: It’s like a full-time job. She’s always saying stuff to try and help. They’re always doing stuff.
Ms. de Garay: You have to research on your own, and sometimes you find peer-reviewed articles that say, “This has happened to other people,” identical to what happened to her. But no, it didn’t happen to her. So I mean, it happened to her before those peer-reviewed articles were even written, so it’s not even like she could copy it. You know what I mean? If anything, people would be copying them.
Traditional medicine has failed. The only people that can help are the ones that don’t accept insurance because they’re not being controlled, so you have to pay out of pocket. But then they’re the ones that know what’s happening. So for whatever reason … I don’t know if it’s because they’re afraid … Because like you had said earlier, I got to think that there aren’t this many horrible people in this world that are kind of just pushing her to the side and saying, “Hey, you took one for the team.”
Through all this, what I’ve learned is if you get your vaccine and you get injured, I don’t care if you were in the trial or not, you will not get help. You are on your own. And insurance, you won’t be able to get help from a doctor that is covered by your insurance. You will not.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s a terrible indictment of the system.
Ms. de Garay: It’s what’s happening, and it’s real.
Mr. Jekielek: I think you alluded to this a little bit earlier, but why did you decide to enroll in the trial in the first place? Because it was both you and your daughter. You’re very serious about trials, it seems.
Miss de Garay: Well, my brothers were in it, too.
Ms. de Garay: This is the first trial they were ever in. But my kids have always … They had all their vaccinations, we get our flu shot every year. I’d hear stories about people injured by vaccines and I … For me, it’s like you don’t know them so it doesn’t really … I don’t know. You know that it happened, but it’s like, “Oh, that’s rare.” Nothing ever happened to my kids before. We’ve never had a problem. I trusted what the government said.
I trusted what the doctors said, and I wanted this pandemic to be over. And the way that it was presented to the world was, “This vaccine’s going to end the pandemic.” I mean, my kids are stuck at home, they can’t leave, we’re wearing masks. I work in a school. I see how it’s affecting elementary-aged kids. So my kids would get the vaccine before everybody else, they’d be safe. I wouldn’t have to worry. They’d be helping other people. That’s why we enrolled. We wanted to get it early, protect ourselves, but also help-
Mr. Jekielek: Contribute to society.
Ms. de Garay: Right. I felt like this one … Other trials, you think, “Oh, that’s new. Whatever. It’s not safe.” But the way it was presented to you and the risks and the informed consent were like, “You’re going to have cold symptoms.” Or, “In the rare event, you can have an anaphylactic reaction.” Which I’m like, “Okay, you just need an EpiPen, you’ll be there, it’ll be fine.”
Mr. Jekielek: Gotcha.
Ms. de Garay: I trusted the government and I trusted the doctors. I don’t anymore.
Mr. Jekielek: Maddie’s been through multiple visits to hospitals. I can see Maddie’s obviously still in a wheelchair. Are you able to walk now, or-
Miss de Garay: No, I can’t walk, can’t feel from my waist down, don’t have bladder control or control of going to the bathroom, and I can’t hold up my neck. So if I hold up my neck, it goes like that and it’s hard to breathe because it goes back. And I have pain all over my body and stomach pain.
Ms. de Garay: So it’s uncomfortable to sit.
Miss de Garay: Yeah, I lay down all the time and I sleep all day. So does Bri. We love to sleep.
Ms. Dressen: And your feet, when they come out of your wheelchair.
Miss de Garay: Oh, my feet … One time, my foot-
Ms. de Garay: One time?
Miss de Garay: Okay, maybe a few times. It went behind that tiny wheel and then I guess it went up and my toe or something got stuck, because I was trying to move and it wouldn’t move. I was …
Mr. Jekielek: Because you can’t feel.
Miss de Garay: … jamming my toe. Then one time, my friend … We were bowling, and I had my legs as the thingy …
Ms. de Garay: The ramps.
Miss de Garay: The ramps. Because I can’t hold up a bowling ball because I’m super weak. She pushed it down and then it flew off my legs and it landed on my toes, I guess, and they got all swollen and purple but I couldn’t feel a thing. My brother has hit me with a charger and I couldn’t feel it. He’s not abusive… I mean, he’s not abusive, but we joke around.
Ms. de Garay: He’s a brother and he wanted to make sure she couldn’t feel and he proved that she couldn’t. So two things with that. She can’t feel, but also, back to the mental thing, she lives her life, she goes bowling, she adapts. So it’s trying to prove the whole functional neurologic disorder, being depressed, being anxiety, because that’s what they’re saying with a lot of these people. She lives her life.
Mr. Jekielek: So still at this point, they’re suggesting that her paralysis is …
Ms. de Garay: … in her head.
Mr. Jekielek: … somehow in her head?
Ms. de Garay: Anxiety.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating.
Ms. de Garay: She definitely has ADHD.
Mr. Jekielek: You’ve gotten some second opinions on this, obviously. You were just talking about that, right?
Ms. de Garay: Yes. We did go to one other hospital. It’s a smaller hospital, which was kind of a waste of time, but they are maintaining her. Doctors will say that there are things wrong to you. They won’t put it in the charts.
Miss de Garay: But the nurses are super nice there.
Ms. de Garay: So one example is when she saw the cardiologist. He’s like, “Well, she definitely has POTS,” or dysautonomia. But he’s like, “I don’t see any point in putting it in her charts.” I’m like, “I see a point.” Now, the only thing they could do was the sit/stand tests. But based on her other symptoms and the other tests that he did … That’s just one example. The neurologist had said there’s definitely something wrong. He started out with, “I want to figure this out,” and then aligned with the same time with Bri with when he changed his position to it’s functional neurologic disorder. It’s the exact same … literally the same … It was in September or October. That’s when everything changed again.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay, so you’ve been hearing everything that’s being said here and now you’ve kind of been entered into the story. So what happened?
Ms. Dressen: Of all the cases … I, myself, I know for a fact … I’ve talked to well over 12,000 people who have had adverse events to the COVID vaccines, and that’s at a minimum.
Mr. Jekielek: So this is your mission in life.
Ms. Dressen: Right now, yes. If the government actually does their job, I would like to go back to focusing on healing and being able to dedicate my time to helping my dear friend Maddie over here. But of all the cases, there’s a couple of cases that are the top two of massive neglect, massive mishandling by the drug companies, the test clinics, the government, and that’s Maddie de Garay’s case. 100 percent is at the top of that list.
Her doctors gaslit her. They abandoned her. They did everything they could to hide her and to put a label on her, and that child right there deserves way better than what she got, hands down. And every time I try to quit this, because this is toxic and this is hard and this is ugly, I call Steph and I’m like, “I’m done,” she’s like, “Okay, I’ll get Maddie on the phone and you can tell her that you’re done.” So-
Ms. de Garay: Oh, we talked every day.
Ms. Dressen: Yes. So until Maddie’s better, we can’t walk away. There’s no way.
Ms. de Garay: And now there’s more kids like her. Her new friends now are vaccine injured. Same symptoms.
Ms. Dressen: There’s a community of kids here in the United States that are trapped in sick bodies and they don’t need to be. So in Maddie’s case, she has all of these doctors that were looking at symptoms, thinking it’s FND. She has FND put in her chart one time and it plagues her for over a year now to get medical care. They don’t look at the underlying etiology of what’s going on, period. They don’t do small fiber neuropathy tests. They don’t do POTS testing. They don’t do the appropriate blood work to look for autoimmune disorders.
Ms. de Garay: Mast cell.
Ms. Dressen: Mast cell. They’re not looking at anything that’s going to actually treat the underlying condition. Because one doctor decided she has FND so all of the doctors after that, “It’s FND. We don’t need to worry about it.” Where’s the second opinion? Where’s the honest and objective look at her case? It’s not happening. And I don’t know how Steph does this every single day. I don’t. Because I just get little tastes of it and it makes me so upset that this is what we have allowed to happen to a child. This is the United States of America. This is beyond un-American.
Mr. Jekielek: You participated in, I think, not one but maybe two hearings that Senator Ron Johnson organized and told elements of this story. And I still want to get your whole story on record. There hasn’t been doctors or anybody interested in actually figuring this out? I mean, it’s-
Ms. de Garay: It’s not your doctors that you’re going to go to that esteemed children’s hospital …
Miss de Garay: It’s like private stuff.
Ms. de Garay: First of all, the challenge with a child is a lot of these places that everybody else is going to, they won’t see children. So you’re limited on the places that you can go to get help for something complex. So a lot of the places that I’ve been referred to, they don’t treat children. So that [is] number one. So the big children’s hospitals, a lot of them, they’re running COVID vaccine trials at. So I’ve learned that if that is happening at the hospital, you might as well not even waste your time.
Mr. Jekielek: Because there’s this potential for conflict of interest or-
Ms. de Garay: There is. But I mean, there’s … and I’m going to say names. Dr. Whelan, right?
Ms. Dressen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ms. de Garay: At UCLA, wrote a letter to the FDA about concerns that he had about a similar reaction to the COVID vaccines that kids were having to COVID with the MIS-C. It’s basically an allergic reaction where your body attacks itself. It’s the same thing that’s happening and what happened to her. There are so many different things you can call it, is the problem. The MIS-C, the …
Ms. Dressen: Guillain-Barré.
Ms. de Garay: … Guillain-Barré, the mast cell … MCAS with POTS and having EDS. She’s also hypermobile, so is she, so am I. There’s all these different things. It’s all the same thing, they just have different diagnoses or they’ll break them up. They all go together. You-
Ms. Dressen: But Maddie doesn’t have any of those diagnoses.
Ms. de Garay: No.
Ms. Dressen: She’s not getting any of that because she’s a kid, so then you narrow down the diagnoses and the resources to pediatricians and pediatric specialists. But then you also have the added layer of the current stigma with anyone being able to talk about the COVID vaccines, so then that narrows down your pool of people that are willing to take care of her even further. So she has a very, very small window of being able to get medical care, and she has to do it under guise of darkness and quietness and delicateness because the word “COVID vaccine” is involved.
Miss de Garay: If no one knew that our cases were from the COVID vaccine and they just started fresh, it would probably be way different. If we just said it was from something else.
Ms. Dressen: And we have people that have to do that because they’re so desperate for care, and so they lie to their doctors and say, “Hey, I got COVID. Now I have X, Y, and Z problem.” And guess what? They get care.
Mr. Jekielek: I see. But if it’s associated with the vaccine, people are afraid to take it up because it might suggest there’s something wrong.
Ms. de Garay: No doctor is going to say … especially for a child that was in the trial, okay? Just think about it. Do you want to be the doctor that’s in traditional medicine … Outside of traditional medicine is a different story, because those are the people that are, I think, unique and they’re trying to dig and they’re trying to figure it out. Do you want to be the doctor that says she has … when you know what tests are going to show something. You do those tests. She has whatever it is. This is what’s happening.
You give the concrete proof basically saying they lied in the trial, they treated her completely wrong from January until October when we switched her care. Do you want to be that doctor? What do you think is going to happen to you if you’re that doctor that says that? You’ve lost your career, guaranteed.
Ms. Dressen: And there are a couple. There’s a couple of doctors that have the smoking gun and they’re afraid. They’re very afraid.
Miss de Garay: Or there’s been doctors who leave their job because they were trying to mandate the vaccine at the-
Ms. Dressen: If you question the vaccine, what’s going to happen to you? Nobody knows. And so it’s kind of strange for people to question that there would be adverse events when, in the history of vaccines, all vaccines have caused side effects. Yes, the flu vaccine has caused fatalities. This isn’t new, so it blows my mind that for some reason, we would assume that the COVID vaccines would be any safer than previous vaccines.
Then, if we talk about it, then that’s not okay to talk about it. It’s not okay to take care of those people that fall through the cracks. It blows my mind, and these doctors, they’re getting the same because their licenses have been threatened.
Because of misinformation. We have people in our group that they’ve lost their physicians after those directives came from the medical boards. The doctors called them and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t be your doctor anymore because you yourself don’t put bread on my table and I’m afraid of what’s going to happen if I continue to see you.” So we have politics that seeped so far into the healthcare system that it’s completely upended the patient/physician relationship—that never should be the case. Then also, we have politics that seeped into the scientific process, and that also should not be the case.
We should have protocols, systems, everything set in place to keep that from happening. But under the guise of pandemic, all of a sudden, all of those rules and safeguards and protocols, we’re going to throw them out the window because of a pandemic. Instead of the whole reason we have this setup is for this exact circumstance, when we are in crisis globally, to make sure that the corruption and the problem that we’re in doesn’t happen.
So the sad reality is, there are very real people, families that have been shattered because these protocols have not been followed, because we have allowed … and openly, we’ve allowed … politics to seep into all of these processes, when politics should have nothing to do with this.
Ms. de Garay: Politics and money. Money is the other-
Ms. Dressen: It’s money, yes.
Ms. de Garay: It’s not just politics. It’s money.
Ms. Dressen: Yes. So you have all of these people with power, the puppet masters, whatever you want to call it. And then you’ve got Maddie in a wheelchair and she’s fighting for her life. So I know Maddie-
Miss de Garay: And there’s even been deaths. There was a kid who died that was 16. He was playing basketball with his friend and then he just collapsed. Then basically they did CPR and [he] basically passed away right there because his heart was enlarged, more than double the size normal.
Ms. Dressen: Ernest Ramirez. So Maddie de Garay, that’s who she sees. She sees what happens to Ernest Ramirez. She sees what happens to her new injured friends.
Ms. de Garay: That wouldn’t have happened to him if they would have …
Ms. Dressen: If they were talking about it. And actually, we brought this up to the FDA. I don’t know if I told you guys this. But the second meeting we had with Peter Marks, we had a critical care physician who’s injured on that call and she made it very clear, “Look, before you guys provided the communication to the medical community about myocarditis, we had one case that we recognized and identified from the vaccines. However, after that directive was given, we were able to identify 35 in the next two and a half weeks.”
So what happened to those before the directive came out? Obviously, they fell through the cracks. They’re probably lost in this very complicated medical system that we’re all victims of now.
So the government agencies doing their job, provides avenues for all of us to get medical care, it opens up the doors for us to be able to get the appropriate testing, the diagnostics, the research that needs to happen to get these people better. But because they’re not doing their jobs, then we have people that continue to suffer. We have people that are literally dying. We have people like Maddie de Garay, who slowly is declining. She’s not getting better, and that’s what makes me so upset about this case.
Miss de Garay: There’s people who get so like … from people, not doctors not helping them or anything, they just get so beat up from their selves and then they take their own lives. Multiple [people] …
Ms. Dressen: Yeah. And it’s common. So of course, yeah, we get pegged with anxiety. Over 80 percent of the members of our organization, we … Because the government wasn’t helping us, so we have to help ourselves. We launched our own 501(c)(3). It’s reAct19.org. It’s launched by patients and it’s for the patients, and over 80 percent of our membership was misdiagnosed as anxiety initially. And some of us were able to …
Miss de Garay: Cope with it.
Ms. Dressen: … get appropriate diagnoses months after the fact. But then you still have an even amount, like Maddie de Garay, who they can’t get the appropriate testing to get appropriate diagnoses. Which, then how is she going to get better if they’re not going to be willing to examine and find the underlying cause of what’s going on? They’re just masking the symptoms.
Ms. de Garay: Well, yeah.
Ms. Dressen: Physical therapists gaslighting her, doctors gaslighting her. That’s not going to get her better.
Ms. de Garay: Well, the other problem is, they just medicate and with most of the people, because of what’s happening, the medication is making … most medications, other than antihistamines, makes them worse. So she talked about the seizures and stuff. That was gabapentin, the Lyrica, Compazine, all those she had reactions to. She had the MRI and she got worse after the MRI. The MRIs use gadolinium with the contrast. We’re fairly certain she’s allergic to metals.
We can take a step back just real quick. The allergist and immunologist that she saw saw her for 15 minutes and did zero tests. The biggest thing happening to her, one of the biggest things, it’s mast cell. It’s an allergic reaction. 15 minutes. Zero tests. Collaborated with the principal investigator and said it before and after the appointment. She literally put it in the notes.
Mr. Jekielek: And you think, again, this is because of this diagnosis of-
Ms. Dressen: Should I speak to that?
Ms. de Garay: Yes. She was-
Ms. Dressen: My example is the classic example of what these misdiagnoses can do in a case. Obviously, Maddie, you get slapped with a label and that’s it. There’s no further investigation. So for me, I was misdiagnosed with anxiety when I was incontinent, peeing my pants. Oh, blood in my urine like Maddie as well and I couldn’t walk. So on my chart last November, anxiety due to the COVID vaccine.
Mr. Jekielek: So you were-
Ms. Dressen: So you signed up for the-
Mr. Jekielek: Maybe this is the opportunity where you just tell me a little more about your situation. So you enrolled in the AstraZeneca trial and then …
Ms. Dressen: Yes. Oh, but I have short-term memory loss, so before I forget …
Miss de Garay: Yeah, so do I.
Ms. Dressen: Right. Yes. We all are like space cadets now.
Mr. Jekielek: Wow. I shouldn’t be laughing.
Ms. Dressen: No. No, that’s legit what it is.
Ms. de Garay: That’s what you have to do. We may seem very relaxed, but that’s how you cope.
Miss de Garay: You have humor.
Ms. Dressen: Yeah, otherwise this thing will eat you up and spit you out and you’ll be dead.
Miss de Garay: And that’s what happens with the people-
Ms. Dressen: We’ve seen it. We literally have seen this thing consume people to the point where they take their own lives. So we have to have our own strange way of coping, and for us, it’s cracking jokes about our memory loss and our rashes and the fact that we have diarrhea for days.
Miss de Garay: Even one person sent her a note, wasn’t it?
Ms. Dressen: Yeah, there’s been several. Several.
Miss de Garay: Yeah. It’s sad.
Ms. Dressen: They all deserved better. And this is how it is with any chronic illness. Someone has a chronic illness, in our case, someone gets vaccinated and has an adverse event. It’s not everybody, but some. And it’s like a bomb goes off and the blast radius consumes your family, your friends, your work community. You go from a healthy, functioning person to confined to your room and to your home just trying to survive for months.
And then what happens? All of those people that depend on you, you now depend on all them. It’s like a total 180, upends your whole life. Just like Steph. Steph has been consumed with trying to advocate for her daughter to the point where it’s like every other day, she’s like, “I don’t know how I can do this. I don’t know how I can do this. I don’t know how I can do this.”
So we reach our limits regularly, and then we have to figure out how to gather the pieces, put ourselves back together, and keep pushing forward. Because we don’t have any other choice. Well, some of us have making the choice to end it, but at the same time, it’s not a black-and-white decision for them, either. With the anxiety, my anxiety diagnosis plagued me until I went to the NIH. I went to the NIH in June. My injury was in November.
So that was six months, seven months, and then finally at the NIH, I was able to get appropriate diagnoses now, like dependent neuropathy. Pretty sure that’s not anxiety. You can’t get that from anxiety. Severe postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, short-term memory loss, severe tinnitus, sensory neuropathy in my hands and my feet, that’s not anxiety.
But after I was able to get those appropriate diagnoses from lead researchers and COVID, my doctors started taking me seriously. But even with all of that paperwork, that huge paper trail and the top researchers in the country giving me appropriate diagnoses, my doctor still in our office visits, they’re hesitant to say the word “COVID vaccine,” so they say, “COVID-related illness.” COVID vaccine.
If we can’t even say the words “COVID vaccine” in a medical environment with two people sitting in a doctor’s office, HIPAA compliant … The privacy laws here in the United States for healthcare are top of the line. We protect medical information like nobody’s business. And even with that setup, we’re still going to say COVID-related illness instead of the word “COVID vaccine?” Where does that come from. Who’s holding the puppet strings to make that happen? I really want to know at this point, who is the one doing this to us? Who’s the one that has done this to Maddie? Because it’s not just one or two people.
Ms. de Garay: It’s everywhere. And they’re all afraid.
Mr. Jekielek: And you’re not talking about the injury. You’re talking about the response, right?
Ms. Dressen: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: Or lack of.
Ms. Dressen: Yes. It starts somewhere, and it starts with leadership. It started with leadership in multiple positions at the drug companies and the government level. And then you have the healthcare agencies, like the AMA. They can provide appropriate directives to all of these medical facilities. Because really, the only reason we’re having this conversation is because nothing is happening for these sick people. If the appropriate things were happening for these sick people, we wouldn’t be here. We would be home, focusing on our healing.
Ms. de Garay: There are doctors that do know what’s going on and they will admit it. Once again, they are not covered by insurance. They’re doing the same tests that should have been done, so they’re out of pocket and they’re-
Miss de Garay: And they actually admit …
Ms. de Garay: Yeah. They admit it was from the vaccine.
Miss de Garay: They see something.
Ms. de Garay: And they’ve treated people. But a lot of people don’t have the money to do that. So I mean, we’re in that position where we are to the point where we’re going to have to set up a life fund. I’ve avoided doing this clear up until this point. But we’re at the point where we have exhausted … I’m on the phone with doctors every night. I go to work and then I come home and I talk to doctors. I’m on the phone.
Miss de Garay: It’s all she does.
Ms. de Garay: And then she can’t do anything for … She can’t transfer herself from the bed to the wheelchair. She relies on me and my husband, and my kids help, too. But it’s like, this is our life. That is all that we do. We don’t go out. We can’t. This is a vacation for her, by the way. I’m not even joking. But this is what it does to people’s lives.
Ms. Dressen: It’s one thing to be sick and it’s a whole other thing to be sick with what feels like the world is against you when you did-
Ms. de Garay: And you don’t know what’s going on.
Ms. Dressen: And you did nothing wrong. These people did nothing wrong.
Mr. Jekielek: It sounds like you kind of did everything right.
Ms. de Garay: Some are being mandated.
Mr. Jekielek: I mean, at least what you were-
Ms. Dressen: We did what we thought was right and we made that choice, especially Maddie and I. We gladly signed up to do our part, to be an active participant in the scientific process to get everybody out of the pandemic. And now that there’s something that has gone wrong, instead of actually looking at it, investigating it, we’ve been cast aside. Marginalized. Silenced.
Miss de Garay: And most people are honestly getting COVID almost … A lot of people in my school have gotten COVID and whether they have the vaccine or not, and none of them are severe cases. They just get a little sick, like a cold.
Mr. Jekielek: So Brianne, it’s been over a year since you took the AstraZeneca vaccine, experienced these reactions, started getting through it, and then got motivated and started connecting people. I just want you to tell me a little bit about that process. You’re in the lead paragraph of an article in Science right now. The article is, “In rare cases, coronavirus vaccines may cause long COVID-like symptoms.”
I imagine there’s a bit of a story to getting to that point as well, and I wanted to kind of chart that, for finding the other people who are experiencing the sorts of things you did and then getting us to this point where a major magazine is talking about symptoms that vaccines may cause, right?
Ms. Dressen: Right. Yeah, I got my COVID vaccine on November 4, 2020 and my reaction started within an hour. Ended up with pins and needles down my arm, had double vision that night, sound sensitivity that night. Over the next two and a half weeks, my symptoms progressed to the point where I had extreme tachycardia, blood pressure fluctuations, temperature fluctuations. My sound sensitivity and light sensitivity became so severe I had to be confined to my bedroom 24/7. I have two little kids, so it was very traumatizing to them.
My little boy would come and try to hold my hand to comfort his mom and my hands were on fire. It hurt, so he couldn’t even touch my hand. I had tinnitus in both of my ears, a freight train in one and the … in the other. So with everything going on, the head pain and the motor dysfunction, I landed in the hospital just before Thanksgiving and that’s when I was given my inappropriate diagnosis of anxiety.
I was sent home from the hospital with intensive occupational and physical therapy with a diagnosis of anxiety. Had to learn how to walk again, retrain my bladder, retrain my colon. I couldn’t even sort a box of toys. It was just too much, and I ended up with these horrific internal vibrations, and so it basically feels like you have an electrical shock surging through your body 24/7.
And so your brain vibrates all the time, and so my eyes, I couldn’t see straight because I was seeing double still. But then it also felt like my eyes were vibrating because my brain felt like it was vibrating. It was so severe that I couldn’t think, I couldn’t eat. The only thing I could do is breathe, and I just remember day after day. I still can’t figure out how you don’t cry when you talk about your thing, because …
Miss de Garay: I don’t cry.
Ms. Dressen: … yours is so much worse. But yeah, I couldn’t breathe. I remember waking up every day and just, “Okay, just breathe. Just breathe for one minute. Just breathe in and breathe out.” Because the sensations were that painful, they were that horrific, all I could do was try to live minute by minute. Then after months of existing like that, I was able to extend that to living hour by hour, and now I can live day by day, but it took a long time. It took like seven months before I was able to live day by day.
So the reaction for me was life changing. I went from a very healthy mother of two to confined to my bedroom 24/7, just literally trying to convince myself that I needed to live like this, that I had no choice, there was no way out. I had to live like this. And instead of that being just for a little bit of time, it was months. Just unrelenting severe pain, electrical sensations. It was the worst experience of my life and I would never wish that on anyone, let alone a child, and especially marching someone to that fate without any kind of help for them.
It seems like the most barbaric thing that we could do to other people. Because these are people. I mean, these are humans. These are human beings. We don’t need to be vilified as anti-vax or against the government, or as Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, criminals. Is that what we’re called? Criminals? Criminals. How can we be criminals? We signed up for the clinical trials. We actively participated in the scientific process for the betterment of society and somehow that makes us criminals?
Mr. Jekielek: You somehow along the way decided to start connecting people, right?
Ms. Dressen: Oh yeah. Sorry.
Mr. Jekielek: No, no.
Ms. Dressen: Short-term memory loss. Hey. Yeah.
Mr. Jekielek: No, but this is … I mean …That’s part of the reason why we’re sitting here, right?
Ms. Dressen: Yes. I mean, yes. After enduring like this for months totally on my own, I thought it was an isolated incident. And lifetime vaccine taker, no problems, so I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal when I got my vaccine. But I suffered like that totally on my own. There was nobody else we could figure out that had this same set of symptoms coming up from the vaccine.
So my husband, he’s a PhD scientist. He got to work right away trying to figure out what was actually happening to his wife. Because all of a sudden, he was taking care of the kids, trying to keep me alive, try to hold down his job. We were a sinking ship at our house.
So through the research, he started putting together some of these theories that … is this the spike protein that’s causing this? Is this an immune dysfunction? Is this autoimmunity? So all those questions, he started combing through the peer-reviewed published articles and he came up with a pretty good concept pretty early. So he started reaching out to scientists all over the globe. COVID experts is where this landed.
The symptoms … and it’s in the Science mag article … they are so similar to long COVID that that’s given us a kind of base to where we can look for testing, treatments, even resources. So there are several vaccine injured that have lied and said that they had COVID so they can get into long COVID clinics, because we’re so desperate for care. And it shouldn’t be that way. Just let us into the clinic, right? So I ended up in these long COVID forums, just kind of lurking there on my own. It was kind of like a-
Ms. de Garay: Me too. I’m in a kids one for her. I just wrote-
Ms. Dressen: Yes. As a fraud. I felt like a fraud for a long time because you’re just sitting there gleaning all of this information off of these people and you’re like, “This is all of my problem. Every one of these symptoms.” Oh, and then you try some of their treatments and their treatments, they work. Okay, so maybe it is the spike protein.
So my husband reached out to the NIH in January. The NIH, from there, they postulated the theory that this is tied to the spike protein and it’s immune-mediated process, and that theory still holds today. But if you can’t actually look at the underlying cause, you’re going to end up like Maddie, trapped in a body with no help. And I’ve been incredibly lucky, because I was able to get help, and I still am not even close to being better. Right now, my body is vibrating. But it’s better than nothing.
So after doing this for months all on my own, I ran into Dr. Danice Hertz. She’s an injured physician and she had a small email group. This was in March. There was like five of us. But then by April, we realized that we weren’t just a small group. We were not just isolated incidents and so we expanded into some social groups on Facebook and by June, we had well over 2,000 members. And that’s how we found each other.
Mr. Jekielek: You say you’ve actually spoken to 12,000 people.
Ms. Dressen: Yes. Through reAct19.org, we’ve been able to connect with other vaccine-injured individuals. These are people that have been on their own for months. So these are not people that felt like crap for a couple of weeks. These are people who their lives have been altered, they’ve been trying to figure this out on their own for months, and some of them didn’t even know we existed.
For example, we had a woman … and this was just like a month ago, a month and a half ago. Maddie, you’re doing so good. She didn’t know we existed. She thought she was totally on her own because of the full-on stop on the flow of information on this issue. She thought she was on her own for months and months and months, to the point where she thought that it would be a reasonable idea to book tickets to Switzerland and have humane euthanasia done. So this is a woman that has four young kids. This is how bad it is. This is how bad the internal vibrations are.
When we go to bed at night, we don’t just go to bed and the lights go off and our brains turn off and we go to sleep. We go to bed, and when everything’s quiet, then our bodies remind us how sick we are because we’re being electrocuted 24/7. So it’s not like people are just laying around on their couches. Their bodies are attacking themselves from the inside out. So of course, if you’ve got that going on, you can’t sleep, you can’t eat.
And then for her and many others, there is no way out. What’s the point of living? And the FDA knows about this. I have emailed Janet Woodcock about this and she has replied to me and said, “This is so sad.” So we’re writing eulogies for our dead friends and all we can get from the federal government is, “This is so sad”?
These people need help. They did their part. And we’ve been pushing and pounding down the doors of the federal government for the betterment of a year and we’re still nowhere closer to getting these people help than we were a year ago.
Mr. Jekielek: And so just let me get this straight. With everything we know, with this article now published on this topic, this very verboten topic, Maddie, you’re still not getting help.
Miss de Garay: Mm-mm (negative).
Ms. de Garay: No. She has no treatment.
Miss de Garay: My treatment is drugs. Okay, I sound … is medicine. I’m on like 17 meds.
Ms. de Garay: Most of them are-
Ms. Dressen: None of which address the underlying issue.
Miss de Garay: None of them really help.
Ms. de Garay: Yes. Her stomach’s a mess. She has zero good bacteria in her stomach. Zero.
Mr. Jekielek: But basically, you’re just looking for a good doctor who can truly assess her case and-
Miss de Garay: We found good doctors, it’s just you have to go through all these things because of my case.
Ms. Dressen: And have money.
Ms. de Garay: Yes. I mean, so the treatment-
Miss de Garay: It takes a lot of time to do all this stuff, and test results can take months to get back.
Ms. de Garay: And they’re in other states, and then the treatment can take five months. Because if you wait too long, you have more things to fix because it’s just going to continue to get worse. So if you’re treated early, you’re done. You could be fine. I’m going to use the example with MIS-C. It’s IVIG and steroids. Our neighbor, her son got MISC-C from COVID. He’s totally fine now. But he got treatment within the first week.
Miss de Garay: Yes, after a week he was normal.
Mr. Jekielek: Maddie, you’re a very, very brave young girl and I’m so happy to have you here on the show. As we finish, what I’m getting here is let’s acknowledge that these things are a reality. Let’s make sure people can get early treatment so they can get treated. This is what I’m hearing thus far.
Miss de Garay: Thank you.
Ms. de Garay: We need to figure out the root … Why is this happening to people? Figure out why so it doesn’t happen to other people. Then you don’t need to be anti-vaccination. You can still have the vaccination if it works. But if it’s going to make certain people sick, figure out why. All we’re doing is we’re going to drive up medical costs because now, they have more problems. So it’s not about don’t have the vaccination, okay?
If it’s going to work, then we should have vaccination—if they work. But if people are going to get sick, just like with the flu shot, they say if you have an allergy to eggs, you probably shouldn’t have this version of the flu shot, or you should take a bunch of Benadryl, or have your EpiPen. It’s like, just figure it out. They’re not figuring it out. Figure it out. Because this could happen to anybody.
Ms. Dressen: And allow it to be figured out.
Ms. de Garay: And just because it didn’t happen to vaccine one … she was fine with one … it could happen on the second, it could happen on the third, it could happen on the fourth. So you’re just going to keep having more and more people until they figure out why and how to treat them.
Mr. Jekielek: Until they do the robust studies and research to understand what’s really going on and be transparent about it.
Ms. de Garay: Right. That’s what they didn’t do.
Ms. Dressen: Transparency.
Ms. de Garay: Transparent. Admit it. Admit it.
Ms. Dressen: What a novel concept, right? Transparency.
Ms. de Garay: It’s admit it, because if you would admit … Okay, you do a trial. Something happens. You figure out why and then you know how to treat it. People aren’t going to not get the vaccine because something could happen if they know that there’s a solution for it or they know to avoid it because of X. Just do that. It’s that simple. But right now-
Ms. Dressen: It doesn’t need to be this hard.
Ms. de Garay: If you hide it, it’s creating a bunch of people that are afraid. It’s not anti-vaccination. It’s afraid.
Ms. Dressen: I don’t know. My whole thing from the beginning on this has been these are human beings. I mean, for some people, yeah, we’re numbers, but those numbers have faces, they have families, they have dogs, they have jobs. These are human beings. Yeah. Most of us have dogs.
Ms. de Garay: No, did have jobs.
Ms. Dressen: Did have jobs, yes. Yes. Did have jobs.
Ms. de Garay: Because they can’t work anymore now. Most of them.
Ms. Dressen: So we know at this point, the government isn’t going to do what needs to be done any time soon, so it’s up to us as fellow humans to help each other. And that’s kind of what we were hoping would happen with the pandemic; that we would come together and support each other. But the vaccine injured and those with long COVID as well, they really do need that help.
Their life, their quality of life totally depends on good people just coming to help us, to support us. And that comes in many forms. Just talk about it. Say, “Yeah, the vaccines can cause some problems.” It doesn’t have to be, “The vaccines are bad. Stop the vaccine program.” But it’s kind of strange that that’s all you hear from this side that makes it through to some of the bigger media outlets. But they’re not sharing our stories, and that’s not our fault, by the way.
Miss de Garay: We’ve tried.
Ms. Dressen: Steph and I gladly … We would gladly talk to The New York Times. We would gladly talk to CNN.
Ms. de Garay: Well, we have talked to them sometimes.
Ms. Dressen: And we have talked to them. I’ve talked to three reporters at The New York Times myself. You’re not seeing it on those outlets for a reason, and it’s not because of us. We have nothing to hide and we have nothing to lose by sharing our stories. We are that sick and that desperate for help. And if this is what it takes to get 12,000 Americans the appropriate help that’s needed, then yes, we’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to keep standing up for the truth. We’re going to keep standing up for what’s right.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, Maddie, it’s really, really great to have you here, sticking it out here with us on the show. Stephanie and Maddie de Garay, Brianne Dressen, such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Ms. Dressen: Thanks for having us.
Ms. de Garay: Thank you very much.
Miss de Garay: Thank you.
[Narration]: The CDC and the FDA did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Editor’s Note: For viewers who have expressed concern about Maddie de Garay’s situation and would like to offer help, you can find her LifeFunder page here.
After this episode was published, the FDA told The Epoch Times that they “cannot comment on or respond to questions about” Maddie de Garay’s specific case. They added that U.S. safety monitoring systems have identified “several health problems potentially associated with vaccination,” including Guillain Barré syndrome, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, myocarditis, and pericarditis.
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