High school senior Emma Burkey received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine April 1. Within two weeks she was placed in an induced coma. She underwent three brain surgeries after experiencing seizures and developing blood clots in her brain.
When Burkey was well enough to be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, her first round of bills totaled $513,000.
Friends of the 18-year-old’s family turned to GoFundMe to raise money to help cover Burkey’s mounting medical costs. As of July 7, more than $59,000 had been raised.
The family hopes most of Burkey’s medical costs will be covered by insurance — but that’s unclear, as the cost of their daughter’s medical care could run into millions of dollars.
“Right now it feels like the national debt,” a family spokesperson said. “It’s so big you can’t get your head around it.”
According to a recent update on Burkey’s GoFundMe page, Burkey is still in intensive rehab, remains in a wheelchair and was able to stand unassisted for the first time July 6 — almost four months after she got the vaccine.
More than 180 people seeking help on GoFundMe
As The Defender reported July 1, research compiled by a group in Mesa County, Colorado, showed as of June 25 there were more than 180 GoFundMe accounts seeking help for people who had suffered injuries after receiving a COVID vaccine and were left with large medical bills and other expenses.