'It's been beyond frustrating': B.C. man fighting for compensation after rare vaccine injury

First, Shaun Mulldoon had to fight for his life.

Now he’s fighting the federal government.

“It’s been beyond frustrating. I thought this would be cut and dry,” said the Langley, B.C., resident, who is recovering from his third surgery after suffering a rare condition linked to his COVID-19 vaccination.

Last April, Mulldoon, 43 at the time and healthy, took the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“I didn’t really care which one I got. I just went and got my vaccine,” he said.

About 10 days later, he fell seriously ill.

“I was in a lot of pain. The next morning, I had started passing blood and vomiting and the pain was getting pretty intense,” he said.

He ended up at Langley Memorial Hospital, where doctors did emergency surgery to remove about two metres of intestine after discovering blood clots later confirmed to be linked to the vaccine.

He spent two months in hospital, both in Langley and at Surrey Memorial.

But when he was finally allowed to go home, his recovery was far from over.

In the past year, he’s needed dozens and dozens of medications to deal with his complicated medical issues. He’s currently recovering from a third surgery just two weeks ago.

He said his injuries have been both physical and emotional.

“I’ve had a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights. I’ve kind of dealt with a bit of depression. When your body’s not functioning very well, your head’s not functioning very well, it just kind of weighs on you,” Mulldoon said.

Last July, he applied to the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Support Program. He was told it would take about three months to process his application. Seven months later, he is still waiting.

“It’s been beyond frustrating. I thought this would be cut and dry. I have so much documentation that supports that this is 100 per cent a vaccine injury,” Mulldoon said in an interview with CTV News.

“I have reports from the hospital, from McMaster University, my doctor completed the vaccine injury support documents.”

He also has an exemption for the vaccine passport in B.C. based on the evidence he provided to health officials.

But Mulldoon said his case manager for the vaccine injury program seems to have no interest in helping him.

“He’s almost dismissive. I feel like I’m inconveniencing him when I call,” said Mulldoon.

CTV News contacted Health Canada, which responded by email saying it would not comment on individual cases and deferred to a website about the program.

The government website says the time it takes to process a claim depends on the complexity of the case.

Numbers from last December indicate that 400 Canadians have put in claims of COVID-19 vaccine injury, with 387 of them assigned to a case manager. Fewer than five per cent had been approved as of that time.

“With the lack of support from the government, the fact they have no liability, the manufacturers of the vaccines have no liability, everybody has complete immunity. There’s nothing I can do,” he said.

Mulldoon hasn’t been able to work since last May, but hopes his most recent surgery will be his last.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the gym and getting back to work again,” he said.