We are joined today by Dr. Joel Wallskog, an orthopedic surgeon from just outside of Milwaukee who was vaccine injured, has appeared before Senator Ron Johnson’s committee, and spoke at the Unity rally in Washington DC.
We discuss his experience and a not-for-profit he helped found called React19 that serves a number of purposes for the vaccine injured.
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DR. WALLSKOG’S BIO
Joel Wallskog is an orthopedic surgeon from Mequon, Wisconsin. He grew up in the Milwaukee area. He attended Marquette University for his undergraduate education. He married his college sweetheart immediately after college graduation in 1992. He then obtained his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He elected to do additional fellowship training specializing in joint replacement at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered private practice in 2002. He became employed with Aurora Healthcare in 2009 where he has been employed since. He has developed a large successful orthopedic practice focusing on joint replacement, including shoulder, hip, and knee replacement. He has extensive experience in revision joint replacement and hip resurfacing. For many years, he has been on the clinical faculty for the Medical College of Wisconsin, training fourth- and fifth-year orthopedic surgery residents on improving their surgical skills. Outside of his professional career, he is a proud father of four children. Prior to his diagnosis of transverse myelitis, he was an avid outdoors person. He enjoyed hiking, biking, and numerous watersports such as wake surfing and water skiing.
Joel was exposed to COVID-19 in August/September of 2020, likely at his work. He was exposed to numerous co-workers at that time who were symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19. He subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in September of 2020. He was asymptomatic. According to CDC recommendations at the time, he waited 3 months after his antibody diagnosis to obtain his first COVID vaccine. He developed numbness, weakness and balance difficulties soon after receiving the first Moderna COVID vaccine (received 12/30/2020). In the following months, he experienced periods of quite severe lower thoracic back pain. He was subsequently diagnosed with transverse myelitis with a demyelinated lesion at the T8-T9 level. He was treated with high-dose steroids and IVIG with no improvement. He has participated in physical therapy. His symptoms are essentially unchanged since his diagnosis in January 2021. He has been unable to return to work as an orthopedic surgeon and has been on long-term disability. He can walk short distances but is unable to return to work or participate in any of the sporting activities that he enjoyed prior to his diagnosis of transverse myelitis.
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LINKS WE DISCUSSED