Eammon Atkinson, a 34-year-old US-based Australian journalist for Network 10 was scheduled to be out promoting his debut feature documentary about a gay rugby team, Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club. However, Ashton-Atkinson recently revealed he had had a tough month, first surviving COVID-19 and then two strokes following a chiropractic treatment.

Perth born Atkinson, who was vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson jab in March suffered his first stroke on the 1st of July while he was “on the table” at the chiropractor, telling ABC News, “Half the vision in my left eye went and all of the vision in my right eye disappeared.”

Stroke Caused By Chiropractic Session, Not Covid Vaccine

After this story ran on the ABC website on Tuesday, Atkinson quickly took to Twitter to clarify that the initial stroke was caused by the chiropractic adjustment and not the Covid vaccination he had in March, nor does his doctor believe there is a link between the vaccination and the strokes.

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The journalist and cinematographer, who was vaccinated, was unlucky enough to pick up the virus while on a work assignment in Nigeria, coughing so much as a result of the virus that he ended up with a sore neck, which prompted the visit to the chiropractor. 

After the initial stroke, he was taken to a hospital in Washington, where he lives with his husband and it was confirmed by a CT scan and an MRI that he had suffered a stroke.

“About five hours later the feeling in my right side of my body came back and most of the vision slowly returned,” he said. “I’ve still got big blind spots in my right eye.”

It was only a week later that he was back in the hospital after a second stroke during home recovery. “The world started spinning when I was on the couch so I dropped to my knees and grabbed the table for stability,” Atkinson said.

“We instantly rushed to the hospital and this second stroke went to the part of my brain that deals with balance.”

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“It’s been a heck of a month,” Mr Ashton-Atkinson said, whose elderly father has been unable to travel to the USA to support his son.

He’s also not thrilled with his prospects of getting home to Australia any time soon. He told ABC News that “the Australian Government has essentially said the door’s not open for you to come back”. He added that the situation was not being managed well by the government.

Documentary On Gay Rugby Team

Steelers: The World’s First Gay and Inclusive Rugby Club

If is was not for the COVID diagnosis and the two stroked, Atkinson would have been presently out and about promoting his debut feature documentary, Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club. 

The film is his writing, producing, directing and editing debut and it all came about by accident when three weeks before he was due to play rugby for the Kings Cross Steelers in the highly anticipated 2018 Bingham Cup in Amsterdam, he got a concussion and was then unable to play.

So he put on a different hat and went as the team chronicler instead, falling back on his production background with the resulting footage forming the basis of the Steelers documentary. He said that the it almost didn’t see the light of day, with the first version of the film being accidentally wiped in edit!

It was almost put into the too hard basket until our friend Israel Falou posted that infamous Instagram post, which made Ashton-Atkinson think. “I just thought: if I was my 13-year-old self seeing his comments, what is the film that that kid would want to see?”.

Steelers has been seen in film festivals in seven countries including the Queer Screen Film Fest in Sydney where it took out the Best Feature Documentary award in 2020 and is available to view in Australia here.

For the Australian government’s latest advice about the novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine, check the health department’s website.

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