In April last year, Ivanka received the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine which all Grade 4 girls older than nine receive at government schools as a means to prevent cervical cancer. In late July she collapsed and spent three months unable to walk, speak, eat and in pain, her father Nino Nortier said. Doctors struggled to reach a diagnosis and apply suitable treatment.
On Tuesday, Nortier said she was in “extreme pain and very weak. The doctors tell us it is difficult to prove medically if it is the vaccine or not because all the tests and blood results come back clean”.
Professor Pieter Fourie, the paediatrician treating Ivanka, said the medical team investigated extensively but “nothing fitted any of the possible illnesses resembling the symptoms and history of her disease profile”.
It was impossible to “know know how our genetic background predisposes us to be more susceptible to infections of certain autoimmune diseases”, said Fourie.