OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WALA) -- A Mississippi woman said her nephew had a stroke just hours after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She believes the vaccine is to blame.
"He can't talk. He can't read. He can't write. He can't really put everything together yet," Celeste O'Keefe said.
Brad Malagarie, 43, is in a neurological ICU in New Orleans. He's paralyzed on his right side.
"He told his co-worker in the back, 'my arm really hurts,' but it's like yeah, you had a vaccine. And about an hour later, he was just staring at the screen and he was like, 'Brad?' And then we heard something fall. He dropped his mouse because he was trying to use his mouse," said O'Keefe.
She said the healthy, father of seven was having a stroke, just four hours after getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
"He didn't jump out of a plane that day. He didn't eat anything different. He took the vaccine. That was what I think was the contributing factor for him having the stroke."
O'Keefe said they reported the stroke to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and Malagarie's doctor isn't ruling out the vaccine as the cause.
FOX10 News reached out to the Mississippi Department of Public Health which sent this statement: "The Mississippi State Department of Health is saddened to hear about the recent illness of Mr. Malagarie and wishes him well. The Agency is certainly investigating the situation. It is difficult, if not impossible, to assign a cause and effect at this time. It is important to note that strokes are not associated with this vaccine – instead, a rare clotting syndrome has been identified. Further, adverse reaction has been cited between six and 13 days after the vaccine was administered. Of the six noted cases all are women between the age of 18 and 38. Yesterday, the Mississippi State Department of Health paused all administration of the J and J vaccine until further guidance from the FDA."
Nearly seven million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered across the U.S, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said the adverse reactions are less than one in a million.
"So it's really upsetting when you hear them say it only happens to a few people. Yeah, it's a few people, until it happens to your own family," said O'Keefe.
Malagarie is eating and drinking some, but it's going to take at least a year of rehab before he's back to his old self. If you want to donate to help out with the family's bills and medical expenses, donate here.