Natalie Boyce was a “fit and healthy” student who dreamt of travelling the world and buying her own home.
The 21-year-old from Rowville in Melbourne’s southeast — a competitive netball player and hardworking student in her fourth year of law and commerce at Deakin University — would have turned 22 on Monday.
Nearly one year ago, on March 27, 2022 — her late grandmother’s birthday — Natalie died of heart failure at The Alfred Hospital, six weeks after receiving a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine.
“You’ll never be the same,” her mother Deborah Hamilton, 52, told news.com.au.
“No parent should bury their child — especially from medical negligence and a compulsory vaccine.”
Ms Hamilton, a single mother who raised Natalie and her older brother alone, says their tight-knit family group has been torn apart by the “horrific” ordeal, and is now demanding accountability for her daughter’s “brutal, unnecessary death”.
The tax agent is furious at Victoria’s health system for mistreating and misdiagnosing her daughter until it was too late, at the government of Premier Daniel Andrews for “forcing” the vaccines on the public without proper long-term safety data, and the federal medicines regulator for its handling of Natalie’s case.
Blood clotting link
She also alleges that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) should have flagged a risk for antiphospholipid syndrome, an uncommon blood clotting disorder estimated to affect one in 2000 people, mainly young women.
Natalie, who had no other major health issues, had been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome as a 15-year-old by chance while having her appendix removed.
Liberal Senator Gerard Rennick, a vocal and at times controversial critic of Covid vaccines, contacted the TGA in October 2021 calling for Moderna to be pulled for young people, as it had been in a number of Nordic countries.
“He wrote to them in October 2021 to have Moderna pulled,” Ms Hamilton said.
“If they’d done that she’d be alive. A lot of people don’t even know they’ve got [antiphospholipid syndrome]. Had I known what the Senator had said back in October, there was no way in a million years I’d have let her have another one.”
Natalie received two doses of Pfizer in September and October 2021, followed by the Moderna booster on February 18, in order to keep her job at fleet management firm LeasePlan — as well as attend in-person classes at Deakin University — under the state’s sweeping vaccine mandates at the time.
“I don’t blame her workplace to be honest,” Ms Hamilton said.
“My workplace had to check people’s vaccination status. We were all forced by Daniel Andrews. We were forced by government regulations. At my workplace they turned up to audit us and had we not complied it was going to be a $10,000 fine.”
‘She never woke up again’
In a heartbreaking account shared with the “Jab Injuries Australia” Instagram page this week, Ms Hamilton described how the morning after her booster Natalie fainted in her bedroom, falling and hitting her head on her ensuite cabinet.
Ms Hamilton rang the Covid vaccine helpline but “they were dismissive, telling me to call an ambulance if I think I need one”.
“Natalie assured me she would be OK so I just monitored her,” she wrote.
“She said she felt sick and tired so she went to bed for the day. Natalie continued to be sick for the next six days with stomach pain, vomiting and a fever.”
Natalie’s condition continued to deteriorate over multiple trips to doctors and several different hospitals, including a nearly 16-hour stay at Monash Hospital in Clayton, where Ms Hamilton alleges health workers failed to check Natalie’s heart despite several warning signs.
On March 5, with Natalie experiencing difficulty breathing and drifting in and out of consciousness, Ms Hamilton drove her to Mulgrave Private Hospital where the emergency doctor “immediately diagnosed” Natalie as being in heart failure and recommended she be transferred to The Alfred Hospital.
“Natalie was transferred to The Alfred in an ambulance about 2.15am Sunday morning,” Ms Hamilton wrote.
“While putting her in the ambulance, the AV doctor told me to hop in and have a final talk to her. Little did I know that would be the last time Natalie and I would speak. She never woke up again.”
According to Ms Hamilton, doctors at The Alfred said they “could not believe” that Monash Hospital had previously sent Natalie home when she was “so seriously ill” without testing her heart, knowing that she had had three vaccine doses.
“For the next three weeks, Natalie had numerous procedures and scans but never regained consciousness,” she wrote.
“She died on my passed mum’s birthday on the 27th of March, 2022. Her death certificate states Natalie died of myocardial infarction and that she had subacute myocarditis.”
TGA’s ‘disgusting’ behaviour
Speaking to news.com.au, Ms Hamilton conceded that “probably by the time she got to The Alfred she was a goner”, but said Natalie may have survived had the myocarditis been picked up earlier.
“But then the decision they made [at The Alfred] shouldn’t have been made, too — to do that MRI, take her off life support for as long as they did,” she said.
“But she was in a bad way. Dialysis, spinal cord damage. She died on my mum’s birthday. My mum’s been passed since 2004. Sometimes I look at it like mum took her because she was too far gone.”
In September, the TGA confirmed that “a young woman in her 20s” had died as a result of myocarditis after taking the Moderna vaccine — marking the first time Australia’s medicines regulator officially linked a death to heart complications from either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines.
Natalie had not been publicly identified until now.
To date, the TGA says it has identified 14 deaths linked to Covid vaccines from 973 reports received and reviewed — 13 after AstraZeneca and one after Moderna.
“The panel agreed with the TGA’s assessment that the myocarditis the woman experienced was likely to have been related to vaccination given the available information, including the absence of other apparent causes of the myocarditis, and the time frame for the onset of symptoms,” the TGA said at the time.
“However, the panel acknowledged there were several other complicating factors that may have contributed to her death.”
But the TGA insisted that “current evidence tells us at a population level, the risk of myocarditis and other heart problems after Covid-19 infection is higher than after Covid-19 vaccination”.
“Given this, the expert group reaffirmed that overall, the benefits of vaccination continue to far outweigh the risks for the mRNA vaccines,” it said. “However, they have recommended that the existing warning about myocarditis be strengthened in the prescribing information for Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna).”
Ms Hamilton told news.com.au the first she heard of the investigation was when the Coroner’s office, which is still conducting its own probe, contacted her in September as a “courtesy” to inform her that the TGA would be releasing a report and that it may attract media attention.
“I’m disgusted that the TGA has not contacted or given me any of those reports,” she said.
“It’s pretty bad they did that independent panel and I knew nothing about it. I shouldn’t find out from an online link. They still have not contacted me in any way, shape or form.”
‘The pain is unbearable’
Writing on Instagram, Ms Hamilton remembered Natalie as a “beautiful, lively” young woman and “conscientious” student who was on track to finish her course with distinction.
“This was all taken from her,” she said.
“Natalie’s death has destroyed her brother … and my life. The pain is often unbearable, our lives are changed forever and will never, ever be the same. Natalie suffered a brutal, unnecessary death.”
Ms Hamilton said she strongly believed “governments were wrong to mandate these drugs with no long-term testing”.
“Natalie’s devastating passing and misdiagnosis by so many medical professionals should never have occurred, and nobody should ever again be treated the same way that she was,” she wrote.
Ms Hamilton is now pursuing a medical negligence claim over Natalie’s death, having been advised that vaccine manufacturers were given indemnity by the Australian government.
“You can never beat the government,” she told news.com.au.
“We’re never going to beat it. [But] Monash need to be held accountable. All of them to be honest. I want nobody else to suffer the way we are, for no other lives to be lost. And people have the right to make an informed choice. It’s been so hidden from the media, if more of this was out there …”
She said she had written two emails to the office of Mr Andrews, while Natalie was still alive in hospital, furious about her treatment by the health system — but never received so much as an acknowledgment.
“It’s pretty disgusting,” she said.
“Then he had the cheek in the election to get on TV and say he answers every single email.”
Shine Lawyers, which is representing Ms Hamilton, said it was “investigating whether the treatment Natalie received at multiple health and hospital facilities was negligent”.
“If the treatment fell below the standard of care reasonably expected to be provided at these facilities, Natalie’s mother could be entitled to compensation,” a spokesman said.
Mandates ‘saved lives’
In a statement, a spokesman for SG Fleet — which acquired LeasePlan in 2021 — said staff were “deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our colleague Natalie”.
“In keeping with government advice in force at the time, we mandated vaccinations for staff to perform particular activities,” he said.
“This included staff who were actually attending the workplace, either because the nature of their role required it, or because they preferred to work in the office. Vaccination was not otherwise mandated. Where staff expressed any concern about attending the workplace or being vaccinated, we worked with our people to find alternative arrangements, such as a work-from-home set-up, if practicable.”
He said in the case of Natalie’s team, “team members who were unable or preferred not to come to the office were able to work from home”.
“We respect each individual’s right to make a decision regarding vaccination that is right for them and at no stage did the company discuss with Natalie a requirement to be vaccinated or the implications of any vaccination for her employment,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Premier was heckled at a press conference by a passer-by angry about vaccine mandates but insisted he would not “apologise for saving lives”.
“Let me make one thing very clear to you, vaccines work,” Mr Andrews told the man. “I am absolutely, absolutely pro-vaccine … You’ve had your say and you are frankly wrong.”
Ms Hamilton stressed that she was “not an anti-vaxxer”.
“I’ve had three [Covid] vaccines but I’ll never touch another one now,” she said.
“They’re pushing the fifth one. It’s ridiculous — I still got Covid anyway. Believe it or not, I got Covid two days after she died. I was fine. I was tired and had a sore throat.”
Last year, the federal and state governments finalised a deal with Moderna to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses in Victoria at the first mRNA production facility in the southern hemisphere.
Mr Andrews, the TGA and Monash Hospital have been contacted for comment.
Story Credit: news.com.au