Champion show jumper, 22, who suffered 'extremely rare' reaction to Moderna vaccine may never ride again as doctors say blood clots that formed on her lungs after she had Covid jab could have been triggered by taking the combined contraceptive pill
A champion show jumper may never ride a horse again after two massive clots formed on her lungs in an incredibly rare reaction to the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
Imogen Allen, 22, was told by doctors that the clots, which formed two weeks after she was jabbed, could have been triggered by the vaccine alongside five years on the combined contraceptive pill.
Ms Allen, from Woodcote, Berkshire, may never be able to ride a horse again and has had her dreams of becoming a police detective dashed after she was left bedbound.
She could now die from a simple cut or bump on the head and will be on blood-thinning medication for the rest of her life, due to the extremely rare adverse reaction.
Ms Allen, who represented England in showjumping as a teenager, also faces the possibility of surgery after she suffered two clots on her lungs just 14 days after having the Moderna vaccine.
She said: 'I was always wary of something happening, and it just shows that I had every right to be, because look at me now.'
Ms Allen was diagnosed with a bilateral pulmonary thromboembolism after collapsing while on a family holiday with her boyfriend Joe, 24, last month.
After beating scores of applicants to secure a job as a police officer, it has been recommended that she is not suitable for the role because she is so unwell.
Ms Allen will have to wait to find out if she can reapply in the future if her health improves.
After winning a silver medal and representing England in British Show Jumping events against Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 2010, she may never ride a horse again due to her health.
Ms Allen, who had been working in events, said: 'It's devastating. I have been interested in the police since I was 18.
'I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do now. Work isn't even on the horizon.
'I'm literally in bed every day. It's depressing, I've had a massive set-back.'
Ms Allen said she started to become breathless while climbing the stairs the day after her first jab on July 24, but put it down to losing her fitness over lockdown.
But over the next few days, she said she began to feel exhausted while doing simple tasks and became so breathless while filling in eyelash extensions on a friend that she was unable to speak.
She explained: 'Even brushing my teeth and hair I was panting and had to take breaks.
'Sleeping on my side just felt like it was crushing my lungs, it was like every breath I took just didn't do anything.'
But despite feeling so unwell, Ms Allen was resolute that she would join her boyfriend and his family on a trip to Devon.
On the holiday, she felt so weak and unwell that she was unable to help them unpack or put up the tents, and had to take a buggy back to the campsite when she almost collapsed after walking up a steep hill.
She phoned 111 and spoke to a paramedic about her symptoms who insisted on sending an ambulance, but Ms Allen refused.
Instead she and her boyfriend Joe agreed to drive to A&E at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.
It wasn't until the early hours of the morning that Ms Allen was given the devastating news that she had two clots on her lungs and her heart was struggling to pump blood around her body.
Ms Allen said: 'I was absolutely petrified. The first thing I said was 'Am I going to die?'
She spent a gruelling four days in hospital, only able to see her boyfriend and family - who travelled almost 200 miles to be by her side - for short periods of time due to Covid restrictions.
Ms Allen said seeing her mother Tessa, 53, and father Chris, 57, made it all seem real.