"I would still advise anyone to have the jab."
Mohammed Choudhury suffered blood clots after having the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, leaving him in intensive care.
There have been instances of people suffering from blood clots after having the Covid-19 jab, though it is a low percentage.
Mohammed said: “I thought I had pulled a muscle on my 5km run nearly two weeks after having the jab – but within days I was in hospital and they told me the blood clots might reach my brain.”
He is now recovering at his home in Poplar, east London, and will have to take blood thinners for at least the next six months.
But Mohammed still believes that people should have the vaccine, even though he will not have the second jab himself on medical advice.
He told the Daily Mail: “Despite my experience, I would still advise anyone to have the jab.
“I just want to raise awareness of the signs to look for in the extremely rare cases where blood clots developed as a side-effect.”
He had no immediate reaction but 13 days later, he began to feel pain in his calf.
However, Mohammed thought it was due to pulling a muscle after one of his regular 5km runs with his wife Alia.
But he then started developing chest pains, breathlessness and headaches.
Mohammed was later admitted to The Royal London Hospital. Following a series of tests, he was put on critical care.
He explained: “In the space of 24 hours I went from expecting maybe a painkiller for a pulled muscle or something to being in a critical care ward on my own, unable to be visited by my wife.
“There was a lot of fear of the unknown at first, as I didn’t know for a few days what the brain scan showed and whether there was an even higher risk to my health.
“I didn’t know how dangerous these clots were as I have no history of this and I’m a healthy young man.”
“It’s not the kind of thing that’s ever happened to me before.”
The drama began on March 10, 2021, when Alia was called in for her own vaccine.
Due to some missed appointments, Mohammed was asked if he wanted to take up one of the spare doses. He agreed.
The pain came 13 days later and he called NHS Direct on March 28, 2021, when the pain became unbearable.
Doctors told Mohammed that the blood clots had started in his leg and it had spread to his lungs.
When doctors told Mohammed that they needed to check for clots, he recalled it being a “scary moment”.
He recalled: “I had to call Alia and have a really upsetting conversation with her about what they’d found and what might happen next.
“It was very apparent from the beginning that this was very new – many of the doctors were saying this was uncharted territory and we’d have to see how things went as they progressed.
“I was moved to a critical care unit where I had a few IV tubes going into me with blood thinners and antibiotics because I had a temperature and there was also a drip with antibodies.
“The general aim was to allow my body’s platelet count to recover while also thinning my blood to stop any new clots forming or growing those already present.”
Fortunately, Mohammed’s brain was declared free of clots and on April 5, 2021, he was discharged.
“I can’t thank them enough for the care they gave me, it was quite exemplary.”
“They were really good the way they communicated with me and they also showed a lot of concern for my wife because they knew she was on her own. We were able to speak on the phone each day.”
Mohammed will now be on a course of anti-coagulants for the next six months to prevent any new blood clots from forming.
He still has pain in his legs and gets tired easily but the headaches have gone.
Mohammed said that doctors have advised him not to take the second jab.
However, he is adamant that he does not want his experience to put anyone off having the vaccine.
He said: “The chances of getting Covid are far, far higher than the kind of freak reaction I experienced, and Covid poses a risk to everyone around you, especially older relatives, so I would absolutely say get the jab.
“But I do think people need to be aware of the signs to look for which could be an indication of clots forming – pain in the legs or chest, possibly headaches, breathlessness and blurred vision.
“I was lucky that it was spotted early, and I hope anyone else in the same situation will seek medical help as soon as possible.”