Updated: Apr 9
'It all happened within 3 weeks’
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the unexpected passing of Blanche Mamo" Ibragg Parish church said on Sunday. And of course, it was unexpected. Blanche Mamo, 67, was perfectly healthy up until last week.
Her husband, Albert Mamo is in shock. He’s just lost his wife, a much loved figure in the community who taught catechism to generations of young people. Until her retirement 8 years ago she was a dedicated teacher at the Paola government junior school. Later she took up a part time role as teacher at San Anton School.
Her sudden passing on Easter Sunday was met with disbelief by colleagues, friends and family.
Albert recounts the story, speaking to SideStreet about the events leading up to her death:
On the day he and his wife were vaccinated, Albert felt fine except for a sore arm. His wife, on the other hand, immediately started to report feeling exhausted and feverish.
On the day after receiving the vaccine, Blanche Mamo had started to feel better and her fever had worn off.
Blanche Mamo is feeling feverish again, this time for three consecutive days. Suspecting she may have contracted COVID, she took a PCR test and the result was negative.
Ms. Mamo was still feeling unwell and now her speech had become incoherent. The following day, she woke up late and could not eat or drink. Albert asked one of his daughters to call her mother and speak to her. His daughters confirmed that their mother was not herself. She was clearly suffering from something that made her unable to speak and communicate properly.
Albert asks his wife to join him to church so that they could pray. She stood up, put on her mask and proceeded to the door in her underwear. Panicked, Albert called a doctor who advised him to take her to the Hospital Emergency. She was immediately diagnosed with a blood clot in her brain.
The next day
Blanche Mamo lies in a hospital bed. She is receiving blood platelet transfusions but she is largely unresponsive.
There is no sign of improvement. Albert questioned the doctors as to whether this was caused by the vaccine, but was told that it wasn’t. ‘There is no connection between her condition and the AstraZeneca vaccine’, the doctor said.
On Easter Sunday at about 00.30 hrs Albert was informed that her condition had become critical, he rushed to hospital to find her taking her last breath. She passed away at 01:50hrs.
The EMA (European Medicines Agency) released a statement this week establishing possible links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare brain clotting ailment known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.
In reaching its conclusion, the EMA's safety committee took into consideration all currently available evidence, and said the ailment was most common in women under 60 years of age within 2 weeks of vaccination.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne said that Malta had not recorded any cases of blood clotting in patients who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"We have had no cases of thrombosis linked to AstraZeneca despite a rumour that was doing the rounds this week," Fearne said.
However, earlier today Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci announced in her press briefing that two people in Malta developed blood clots after taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Neither of the two cases were confirmed to be directly related to the vaccine,” Gauci insisted at a press conference earlier today.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, up until now, is still one of three main vaccines being used as part of Malta's inoculation program.
*SideStreet reached out to the Health Ministry for further comments, at least 24 hours before publishing, so far our questions have been ignored. Any comments from the Ministry will be attached hereunder.*
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