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Family believes 9-year-old paralyzed, blind after getting a flu shot

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HOUSTON, Texas – Brianna Browning, like many fourth graders, loves to run, jump and play with other children her age.

However, she is now bedridden and her parents are on a mission to find out why.

“It’s horrible. It kills us,” said Johnny Alexander, Brianna’s stepfather.

On Oct. 15, Brianna got a flu shot at her school before her health suddenly went downhill.

 “Eight hours later, she was profusely vomiting and again Friday morning. Saturday, she was paralyzed from the waist down, blind and seemed like she had a seizure,” said Brenda Faulk, Brianna’s mother told KTRK.

Brianna’s parents say doctors don’t know what happened to her.

“She was perfectly healthy. No symptoms, no sickness,” said Faulk.

Alexander says they believe the flu shot played a role in Brianna’s sudden decline.

“We know in our hearts this was the flu vaccine that made her ill,” he said.

Doctors say flu shots are extremely safe, adding that most reactions are mild.

“There are some cases, very rare, that a flu shot has a more severe reaction and those reactions are minor in terms of the number of people who are going to get those,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the executive director of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services.

Brianna’s parents believe she is part of that small group and are simply praying for her to recover.