Christina Tarsell. Died June, 2008 - Age 21
"Hi. My name is Christina Richelle Tarsell, but people call me Chris. I celebrated my 21st birthday in November 2007. I did not live to see my 22nd. Suddenly, unexpectedly, and inexplicably, I died in bed in June 2008. An autopsy report said that the cause of my death was undetermined. After an extensive investigation, medical experts believe I died from an adverse reaction to the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. I had received Gardasil only days before my death"
When Chris wasn't in the studio painting, constructing or writing, or at the gallery working, Chris liked to hang out with her friends. Chris would have been a senior in studio arts and philosophy at Bard College, a community she loved. She also liked exchanging ideas, observing nature, listening to music, debating, dancing, cooking, and enjoying the companionship of others.
Her passions were art and philosophy, and she won several juried art honors. She loved texture, light and color and was just embarking on a serious and challenging senior project integrating sculpture and painting when her life tragically ended. She was sweet, spirited, questioning, generous and caring. We love you Chris and miss you deeply.
Frequently, she and friends would take excursions to New York City where she did an internship. They explored the Big Apple and neighborhoods like Chinatown, Brooklyn and Williamsburg. It was all so exciting and the future looked rich with possibilities. But it all came to an abrupt end when Chris was found dead in her bed on June 23,2008.
Born and reared in Sparks, Maryland, Chris was an honor student, a member of NHS, Amnesty International, The Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, and Girl Scout Troop 589 who presented her with a Gold Award. An avid and accomplished athlete, Chris played baseball on the boy’s team in middle school, varsity softball in high school and tennis in college. She was art editor of two literary magazines, Brillig and Verse Noire, in high school and college, respectively.
Chris was a girl on the go; a girl with a vision. She loved being at Bard College where she was an honor student. She loved studio art, philosophy, the tennis team, visits to New York City and hanging out with her caring, fun-loving friends. She was generous, compassionate and always gave back to others.
Between her junior and senior years, Chris had a summer job working at the college art museum while living with classmates in a house in Tivoli, NY. So after a short visit home to Maryland, Chris returned to Bard and her job on June 13, 2008. During the visit home, on June 3rd, Chris had gotten her third shot of Gardasil.
A few days later, Chris complained of feeling dizzy, tired and she developed a rash on her neck. She had a post-vaccine cough and sinus congestion that wouldn’t go away. We were never told of any side effects to Gardasil so we did not know these signs were significant. Chris was found dead in her bed 18 days after her third shot. What could have happened? Chris was always a healthy, wholesome girl, a non-smoker, an athlete. She didn’t take drugs or medication.
As of this writing, the cause is “undetermined”. Further investigation suggests that Chris, like other girls who died following Gardasil, may have had an autoimmune related response triggered by the vaccine. The CDC wants you to dismiss them as “coincidences,” while our beautiful, innocent daughters die needlessly.
Contributions to fund scholarships in her honor are welcome and may be sent to the Christina R.Tarsell Charitable Fund, PNC Bank, 201 Mt. Carmel Road, Monkton, MD 21111.
(Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)