Desiree Jennings is a 25-year-old aspiring cheerleader from Ashburn, Virginia who became Internet Famous in October 2009, after announcing that she'd been horribly crippled by the flu shot. After she got herself on TV, neurologists pointed out that her symptoms were completely unlike those of nerve damage – but perfectly typical of psychogenic illness. Shortly after, she was miraculously "cured" with chelation
Before her shot, Jennings was physically healthy and in good shape. She was apparently a "Washington Redskins Ambassador," which is like being on the farm team for NFL cheerleaders. After her story broke, media reports started calling her an "NFL Cheerleader," which isn't true – but it's typical of how everything in the later reports is just a little more dramatic than the early reports.
D.J. got the shot on 23 August and supposedly developed flu-like symptoms soon after. It's biologically plausible that these mild symptoms could have been a direct result of the vaccine. After 7 September, she started having fainting spells and convulsions. She was sent to a couple of different hospitals, but not a single doctor or nurse could find anything physically wrong with her.
According to the earliest available report, Jennings' neurologists were scratching their heads, but her physical therapist diagnosed her with dystonia. This may or may not be true, since her story changed over time. If it is true, it raises an immediate red flag, as dystonia is a neurological condition, and it's implausible that a neurologist would miss it while a physical therapist would catch it. More likely, her neurologists ruled dystonia out, but her physical therapist either misdiagnosed dystonia, or just happened to mention the possibility of dystonia, which Jennings then seized on as an "official" diagnosis. We don't really know, since Jennings hasn't released her medical records, and the media reports about her case history have – what's the phrase – evolved over time.
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