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Special Report Part 2: Adverse Reactions in Ventura County

‘The Booster Started an Avalanche of Symptoms That Just About Took His Life’

In 1977, Gordon and Cathryn Andresen settled in the Santa Rosa Valley between Camarillo and Thousand Oaks. They raised two children there, and Gordon, a mechanical engineer, commuted to Long Beach for 35 years to run a manufacturing plant. He retired in 2016 to operate the family’s small avocado farm.

“We live in a 100-year-old house which has a lot of maintenance, so Gordon’s accustomed to being physical here on this property in many capacities,” says Cathryn.

Their daughter, who lives in Ventura County, says her father was usually “out doing ranch work, throwing the ball to the 80-pound Labrador retriever. He was active and normal for a 75-year-old.”

When COVID shots became available, the Andresens were “eager to try” them, Cathryn says. “This is what was offered, and we were in a very vulnerable position, as were most of our friends, because of our age group and our other health issues. We took it willingly.”

Gordon and Cathryn experienced no negative symptoms with their first Pfizer shots and no recognizable symptoms with their second.

But everything changed the day they took their boosters.

“The booster on Nov. 17 started an avalanche of symptoms that just about took his life,” says Cathryn. “After the booster when the symptoms started, he was downhill — from the booster to crisis and near death.”

Both Gordon and Cathryn received booster shots at 3 p.m. in Simi Valley on that November day, three months ago. Forty-five minutes later, while in the market, Gordon “didn’t feel well, and he didn’t look right,” Cathryn recalls. “His face was getting kind of weird — puffy, red, eye droopy, a little bit swollen. He said, ‘I need to sit down.’ That’s not like Gordon.”

They decided to go right home, but Gordon’s vision had become so poor so suddenly that he had to pull over and let Cathryn drive. She took him to an urgent care clinic in Thousand Oaks.

“The urgent care doctor determined there was no anaphylactic issue, so he didn’t know what was going on,” she says. “We didn’t know what was going on. So we went home with the advice to follow up with his physician.”

The next day, Cathryn took Gordon to the emergency room of a Woodland Hills hospital where he “had lots of tests, lots of scans,” Cathryn says. “The ER doctor looked him over really good but could find no emergency. So the answer was, ‘Follow up with your physician.’”

“It was absolutely horrible to see him gasping for breath and not able to do anything but try and get air in. All he could say was, ‘Call 911.’”

Before they could do that, Gordon’s situation became perilous.

“We stumbled around doing our best to find out what to do,” Cathryn says. “Meanwhile, his symptoms were getting worse.”

Three times over the following days, they called 911 because Gordon simply couldn’t breathe.

“After the booster, up until the crisis point, there would be times when my breathing would change,” Gordon says. “When the breathing gets to a very difficult point, that’s scary. Very short of breath. The breathing becomes rapid, short breaths and gasping. … I couldn’t overcome it.”

“It was absolutely horrible to see him gasping for breath and not able to do anything but try and get air in,” Cathryn says. “That was scary — very scary. And helpless. All he could say was, ‘Call 911.’”

As their daughter describes it, “He was literally dying in front of my eyes.”

Though paramedics did valiant work, he “was in very, very bad shape,” Cathryn says. On his final visit to the ER, they put him on a ventilator and sent him to the ICU.

“When he got there, all he could do was wiggle his toes, hear and squeeze the doctor’s hand,” Cathryn says. “Everything else shut down. He could not see, he could not breathe, he could not swallow, he could not eat, he could not walk, he could not control his arms. He was really shut down.”

In the ICU, doctors gave Gordon a tracheotomy and put a feeding tube in his stomach. What exactly was happening to him, nobody seemed to know, and in the meantime, Cathryn turned the farm operations and bookkeeping over to her adult children while she worked with multiple doctors to figure out what was wrong with her husband.

“It’s a huge administrative job to take care of someone who’s sick and no one knows [why],” she says. “Not only was it quite a shock, but it was a fight to find out, what the hell is this? What do we do about it? … It was a long time before we really knew what was wrong with him.”

Ultimately, his doctors and specialists concluded that Gordon now had myasthenia gravis, which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes as “a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest.”

The NIH website continues, “These muscles are responsible for functions involving breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs. The name myasthenia gravis, which is Latin and Greek in origin, means ‘grave, or serious, muscle weakness.’ There is no known cure …”

After eight days in the ICU, Gordon was transferred to a step-down unit, where he stayed for three more weeks. Then he was released to continue recovering at home.

Today, back at the family ranch and avocado farm in the Santa Rosa Valley, Gordon’s diet remains restricted, and he only recently regained the ability to take care of his own hygiene. His ability to swallow has returned. His speech “is not back to full blast,” he says, as his throat recovers from the tracheotomy. He now takes 13 pills a day, up from four before his life-threatening experience. And, “There are some leftover issues maybe with the heart that I will see a cardiologist on, but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal,” he says. “They are looking for A-fib. That’s the one possible thing that I could still have.”

He has undergone speech therapy, physical therapy and other therapies at home and is under the care of a neurologist who specializes in neuromuscular issues.

“This is new for us, and we’re feeling our way along,” Cathryn says of their present situation. “It’s been a really long, rough road, especially for Gordon. … He still isn’t completely healed, and there’s no cure for this.”

Though myasthenia gravis can be managed, it can also go into crisis, which is why Gordon no longer drives a car or his ranch ATV. And though her husband “came very close [to dying],” Cathryn is still sorting through her feelings about taking the COVID shots.

“I’m a little torn on this,” she says. “We truly believe this was [caused by] the vaccine series, and the booster kicked it over into really bad crisis — a myasthenia crisis: death imminent, meaning it was a big, bad deal. … But for me, I would hesitate to say to people, ‘Don’t get the booster because he got this.’ And yet I believe people ought to know this is something that can happen.”

“Pfizer was no help at all. They only wanted information for their purposes.”

She even called Pfizer at one point during the crisis, “When we had no answers,” she says.

“They wouldn’t talk to me until I answered a huge survey about all this action from his shot series,” she says. “Then they would offer no help. His doctor couldn’t call in and find out, ‘What’s with this?’ They wouldn’t help me any. They wouldn’t refer me to anybody. Finally, l ended the call by telling her, ‘I’m not here to give you statistics for your use; I’m here to get some help!’ And that was the end of that. Pfizer was no help at all. They only wanted information for their purposes.”

She has filed a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) report but confesses, “I don’t think that’ll help any, either.”

Gordon agrees: “No.”

“But we can’t just let it go altogether,” Cathryn says. “I mean, somebody needs to know about this.”

“We can’t just let it go. I mean, somebody needs to know about this.”

Gordon says that “One thing I came away with [in] all of this, in talking to friends is, what you get from the big authorities is, it’s one size fits all. And that is not the way we should go about doing things.”

Both adamantly oppose employer or government mandates for vaccines.

“What I am very much against is, there are people who are forced to take the vaccine series in order to keep their jobs, and I think that’s very, very wrong,” Cathryn says. “I’m for people being able to choose the course of their lives and their health. If they make bad decisions, that’s on them. You do the best you can, but if you make a bad decision, it was your decision, and you are responsible for it. … It’s wrong to mandate to the nation, and to the world, and to a class of people.”

She also feels terrible for the way children have been treated by schools and governments.

“Other than the deaths of all the elderly people, kids have gotten the worst deal out of it with all the masks,” she says. “There’s a huge double standard: ‘You have to get the vaccine, and you don’t. You have to stay six feet apart. You don’t. You have to wear a mask. They don’t.’ It got out of hand. It’s very much out of hand.”

Gordon, who used to watch and listen to a lot of news, says he has “lost a lot of confidence in the WHO, the NIH, the CDC and the FDA.”

“And also money,” Cathryn adds. “Before all of this, we weren’t aware of how much money is spent by whom and for whom. That’s out of whack, too. So there needs to be a lot of fixing. But this hits home personally, and globally and everything in between.”

The couple knows a number of friends who experienced some kind of negative reaction to the COVID shots. Gordon’s neurologist told him he has another patient in Ventura County who experienced issues similar to Gordon’s. One of Gordon’s own therapists, who left the house right before his interview with the Guardian, told Gordon that after her second shot, she developed a very serious cough that lasted for two months.

“[County public health officer] Robert Levin needs to start talking to all the neurologists in the community because they all have evidence of adverse reactions,” says the Andresens’ daughter.

As Gordon recovers, he tries to remain upbeat.

“I’ve been home for a month. I feel pretty darn good because I’m off the walker,” he says. “The physical therapist has me doing exercises that make me feel stronger than I was a year ago.”

He also tries to be sympathetic in his assessment of doctors.

“I think doctors have a lot of stuff that they can’t talk about,” he says, measuring his words.

As for more COVID shots, he’s not interested.

“When they require a fourth booster, I’m not going,” he says.

Joel Kilpatrick
Joel Kilpatrick
Joel Kilpatrick is a writer and journalist.


  1. A close friend of mine was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis after a failed spinal surgery. They had been to numerous doctors and health professionals including optomterists who were unable to make a diagnosis. Eventually the thymus gland was surgically removed. It ended up being a living nightmare.

  2. I’m so sorry for everyone who has had such serious side effects from the vaccines. I hope all of you get better or it that isn’t possible that you become able to deal with the side effect problems. I do hope someday the vaccine companies will be found liable and will have to pay damages to all of the people who have been affected. It won’t bring back the people who have died but it could very well make all of these guilty vaccine manufacturers think twice before they rush out a dangerous vaccine to use for experiments on the general public. I’m a retired pharmacist who had a very serious, unusual probably allergic reaction to the last tetanus vaccine that I took. My doctor gave me a medical exemption from the coronovirus vaccine because she is concerned that if I took it the vaccine could kill me. The principal of the Christian homeschool I teach at didn’t require the vaccine although she did encourage me to take it. But when I told her about my tetanus vaccine experience she decided to excuse me from having to take it. My husband works as a field representative for the Census Bureau and they are in serious need for more workers in our area. My husband’s boss is working on expediting my being hired soon to help out. I am sure that becoming a federal government employee will result in my having to deal with my new boss about this issue. So my doctor will have to write me out a medical exemption request which I’m sure she won’t have any problem doing. I hope the Census Bureau supervisors I will have to deal with will agree to accept my medical exemption. I have read many reports of people who were harmed by or killed by the vaccines and I don’t think that Biden has any business mandating that employees have to take a dangerous untested experimental vaccine that has killed and seriously injured many people all around the world. Also I think the doctors at the CDC, like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky need to be held responsible for recommending an experimental vaccine that has damaged and killed so many people. I think these doctors and all the drug manufacturers are guilty of harming and killing people and should be held responsible in a court of law for what they have done. I really don’t know how they can live with themselves or sleep well at night. I hope everyone involved will be held responsible some day. Back in the 1970s, there were some less serious problems with the swine flu vaccine but after a total of 53 unexplained deaths the vaccine was taken off the market here in the United States and was never returned to the market. I think the coronovirus vaccine should have been removed from the market a long time ago. If it cannot be reformulated to be safe then it should be permanently removed from the market. No one should be forced to take an experimental vaccine against their free will.

  3. My Grandnephew is in the Navy. He got the covid vaccine about March 2021. Shortly thereafter, he and his shipmates got Covid. Nephew recovered at home.
    However, later in the year a baseball sized mass was found near his heart. Major surgery at a Texas hospital was required to remove it. Now, about 6 months later he has MG and will likely be discharged from the Navy.
    He’s not even 30 years old, newly married with a young child. Google MG and vaccine and everything is whitewashed. I only found this article by Googling Childrens Health Defense and MG.
    This is the grandest crime against humanity ever perpetrated on the human race in the name of Big Pharma profits and perhaps depopulation ambitions of Bill Gates, Rockefeller, Klaus Schwab, WEF, et. al.
    Nuremberg 2.0 trials can’t begin soon enough.
    Recommend reading part 1 of this Report and the comments posted below each part.
    Kudos to Joel Kilpatrick Joel Kilpatrick is a writer and journalist and the Conejo Guardian for publishing the article.

  4. About a month after receiving J&J vaccine in 2021 my sleep was never to be the same again…I have developed what Dr’s can’t quite understand or give answers to…sleep myoclonus patterns…which affects me as I’m trying to drift off to sleep…doesn’t are me to sleep …i have been able to treat naturally on my own….after so many tests and drs wanting to put me on drugs I decided because they don’t have the answers I’m looking for I need to be my best advocate and treat what I’m dealing with on my own ..this whole situation has taken a toll on my mental and emotional state of mind for sure and I living with something now that I can treat day by day …no closure and no answers other wise.


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