Karolina Stancik, an Army National Guard enlistee who suffered severe medical issues after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, is being recommended for medical discharge, according to her testimony and documents provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Stancik said she received a complete dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine between March and April 2021, shortly after enlisting in the Virginia National Guard, and subsequently received multiple diagnoses for conditions that have been known to follow COVID-19 vaccinations, according to medical documents. Her most recent physical record from the National Guard notes persistent and severe cardiac, neurological and pulmonary issues, and refers her to a medical board that could choose to discharge her.
Moreover, Stancik said that Tricare, the military’s insurance plan, will only cover some of her medical expenses for reasons that are not entirely clear, which Stancik said fits into a pattern of negligence from the Army regarding her medical issues.
“You’re thinking of your health, and so that’s what I was thinking of when I got the vaccine. … The other thing is, people were saying you’re a horrible person if you don’t get the vaccine, so your character was questioned,” she told the DCNF.
Two civilian doctors acknowledged that Stancik’s apparent injuries, including conditions that have links to COVID-19 or vaccination, occurred subsequent to her vaccination and recommended against Stancik receiving future immunizations, according to medical documents viewed by the DCNF.
Additionally, the doctors advised Stancik’s superiors against requiring further vaccines, according to letters viewed by the DCNF.
One letter, dated Jan. 24 and signed by a doctor at HCA Florida Heart Institute, notes that Stancik has sought cardiovascular care at the institute since July 2022 and undergone extensive testing.
“There has always been the ongoing concern that the COVID vaccines that she received in early 2021 may have played some role in the development of her current symptoms. Therefore I feel that she is not eligible for any further required vaccinations,” the letter reads.
Another physician from a functional medicine clinic in Missouri, in a letter dated Jan. 25, says Stancik is “currently under multi-specialty care for severe, disabling symptoms that arose after” vaccination, recommending caution due to an “incomplete diagnosis of the underlying cause.” (RELATED: Walter Reed Military Hospital Reviewing Contract For Chaplain Services After Ordering Off Catholic Priests)
‘They Weren’t Supposed To Speak’
Immediately after receiving the vaccine, Stancik said she experienced severe side effects, including a sinus infection after the first dose and numbness, dizziness, high heart rate and asthmatic complications after the second.
Unlike most people who felt ill in the first 24 to 48 hours after vaccination and felt normal afterward, Stancik says her symptoms never abated.
Instead, they grew worse.
A respiratory infection toward the end of June turned into an emergency room visit in October for a rib injury, documents show, a result of months of dealing with bronchitis. At that point, she was barred from training and riddled with medical restrictions that prevented her from performing even basic duties.
“Every doctor I had seen, even [Department of Defense] doctors, had stated but hadn’t written out that they thought it was a reaction to the COVID vaccine. They stated that they saw growing numbers of people getting seen for these complications, but they were told that they weren’t supposed to speak up about it and that’s what I was told,” Stancik said.
Her permanent profile, a document that outlines a soldier’s medical and physical restrictions, notes that Stancik’s injuries are “secondary” to the COVID-19 vaccination, meaning they occurred after she was immunized. Now Stancik is being recommended for medical discharge, the document shows.
The document, issued on Feb. 13 and viewed by the DCNF, notes that Stancik has “persistent physical and exercise limitations” despite following prescribed medication regimens, and confirms that her physical and mental state renders her unable to deploy.
“It is a Permanent (“P3”) Profile requiring a Medical Board. Which would then set her disability rating and she would be MEDICALLY DISCHARGED. It is completely cut and dry in this case,” Lt. Col. Dr. Pete Chambers, a former special operations flight surgeon and anti-vaccine/anti-mandate advocate who viewed the document told the DCNF.
Stancik’s permanent profile notes “significant comorbidities secondary to undergoing COVID vaccine,” including myocardial infarction (heart attack), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, a disorder of the involuntary nervous system that can lead to lightheadedness and increased heart rate), asthma and hypertrophy of the left ventricle, the document shows.
Research from December 2022 showed a link between COVID-19 infection or vaccination and POTS symptoms, although the risk was low. Other research has demonstrated that contracting COVID-19 increases the risk of heart attacks, and there are several documented cases of heart attacks post-vaccination, according to a pooled analysis of multiple studies. Doctors have also identified at least one case where a young, pregnant female experienced a minor stroke after the Moderna vaccine, but research on the risk of stroke after COVID-19 or the vaccine remains inconclusive, according to a 2022 review.
A DOD study published in June 2021 found unusual rates of heart inflammation among previously healthy male servicemembers who received either of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Stancik said she has a history of playing intense sports and never dealt with medical issues. The spate of health complications, which has resulted in her seeing 17 doctors through four changes of station, came “out of the blue,” she told the DCNF.
“My running heart rate would peak at 170. Now I’ve hit 202 not doing anything,” she said.
As of February, when the permanent profile was issued, Stancik made twice-weekly doctors appointments and took daily vitamin infusions, she told the DCNF.
‘Have To Be Responsible’
The National Guard has not issued Stancik what is called a “line of duty” (LOD), a determination that would make her eligible for full coverage through the military’s health insurance, according to Stancik. The military assigns LODs when a national guard member gets injured or comes down with an illness while in the line of duty, such as during drill weekend or any training while on orders, according to the Tricare website.
“I went into it and I had the mindset that if something happens to me under the military’s guidance, they’re going to have to be responsible,” Stancik told the DCNF.
Instead, Tricare has not covered her cardiology appointments, or any of her tests or lab work, according to screenshots of her insurance documents seen by the DCNF. Stancik says she’s now being charged $225 each for neurology visits, and her GiveSendGo says the charges could reach up to $35,000.
Stancik said she doesn’t know why she was not issued a LOD, but suspects that leadership failed to follow proper protocols as she was transferred from base to base during the course of her illness. Chambers and Davis Younts, a military lawyer, told the DCNF it’s likely because the National Guard has not determined that Stancik’s injuries resulted directly from the COVID-19 vaccine, despite a paucity of believable alternative explanations.
“The military is very hesitant to admit anything might be vax related or a vax injury,” Younts told the DCNF. “She should have been found in the line of duty and potentially should not have been released from orders while recovering.”
The National Guard Bureau referred the DCNF to Stancik’s local unit. The Virginia National Guard did not respond.
Even if Stancik did have previously dormant medical conditions or contracted COVID-19 sometime before her vaccination — which she denies — the National Guard would have approved Stancik as healthy enough to enlist in early 2021, Chambers explained.
“For us to get on the offensive, that’s wrong. They were normal soldiers, they were brought in under a system that cleared them,” Chambers told the DCNF. Similarly, the National Guard can’t “prove soldiers are not healthy because they were brought in that way… Until we can do further studies you can’t just boot soldiers to the curb,” he added.
Other young servicemembers with no known medical conditions have experienced out-of-the-ordinary health incidents post-vaccination.
The DCNF previously obtained a 101-page whistleblower document provided to Congress in January 2022, detailing multiple cases of apparent vaccine injury. The document is divided into four sections, with the first containing seven first-person testimonies from injured members as well as medical documentation.
A Marine Corps aviation safety officer whose job involves reviewing incident reports said he noticed a “disturbing” increase in medical reports coinciding with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, testimony and copies of the reports show.
In addition, causal links between most sudden-onset complications and each vaccine remain unclear; the CDC says it is still investigating cases, particularly with myocarditis, which disproportionately impacts young males.
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