A FAMILY is raising money to help the recovery of man who suffered a devastating stroke as a result of a rare reaction.

John O’Neill, a 42-year-old IT engineer, suffered a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. 

John was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford in May after becoming “suddenly and violently” unwell. 

In the early hours the next morning he suffered a stroke to the left-hand side of his brain. 

It was later confirmed through several blood tests that the cause of the stroke was a result of an incredibly rare reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine he had just nine days earlier.

The stroke caused extensive brain damage to the left-hand side of his brain, affecting his speech and communication.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Family man John O'Neill with his wife VickyFamily man John O'Neill with his wife Vicky

The reaction has also affected his vision, caused paralysis to the whole right-hand side of his body and caused several blood clots in main arteries and his heart.

The family stress they are not anti-vaccine.

John took the vaccine to protect himself and his family, and the reaction came as a huge shock to all, especially wife Vicky, who had to break the devastating news to their two small children.

Any funds raised will go towards John’s physical therapy sessions, speech therapy, occupational health therapy, mental health therapies, additional medical costs, travel costs to hospitals, housing adaptations and any costs to secure John’s future.

Vicky said: "He is very different to how he used to be and it's a massive learning curve for us all still. That's a big tough thing at the minute I think for the children, and for John because it is a struggle for him to communicate.

"He finds it extremely difficult to socialise.

"He's pretty much trapped really, it's like being trapped in your own body. He knows what he wants to say, he's completely with it, but he just can't get it out so it's all very mental and physical."

The family have received an “overwhelming” response to the fundraiser, having received £16,756 from more than 400 well-wishers towards the £20,000 goal.

To donate to the fundraiser, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/johnsvittjourney.