Local teen learning to walk again following rare vaccine-related reaction

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas teen is making a remarkable recovery after suffering a rare reaction to the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Emma Burkey, 18, was identified as one of six women across the country to become severely ill after receiving the vaccine on March 20, 2020. Within a few weeks of receiving the vaccine, the Coral Academy senior suffered blood clots to her brain and was airlifted to a California hospital. She has undergone three brain surgeries.

Burkey returned home a few months ago and undergoing physical therapy to learn how to walk again. Friends and family call Emma a “living miracle.”

“We got to see the progress of her body, different parts just functioning well, different sides of her body, but then other parts are still very slow to come back. Every step counts. There really is no shortcut in the journey to recovery,” said Pastor Heiden Ratner, WALK Church.

Family friend, Pastor Ratner, said even in the midst of her battle, Emma’s personality shines through.

“She recently reached out to my wife and said I can’t wait to babysit again at a high level. It’s in her heart,” he said.

Burkey’s recovery has been long and expensive. A Go Fund Me account is set up to help her family with the medical bills.

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