39-year-old died of heart disease, not Covid-19 jab: Singapore heart centres

Ms Christina Rodriguez Seah had sought a second opinion and treatment for her cardiac condition at NHCS in December 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Covid-19 vaccination was not the direct cause of heart failure that led to the death of a 39-year-old woman earlier this month, said the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) and National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS).

The woman, identified in social media posts as avid local football fan Christina Rodrigues Seah, was the subject of a post that said her heart issues were related to her receiving the Pfizer mRNA Covid-19 vaccine last year.

In a joint statement on Thursday (Jan 27), NUHCS and NHCS said Ms Seah did not report feeling unwell and had no allergic reaction after receiving the two doses of the vaccine in April last year, and instead was the victim of heart disease.

The statement said: "We are saddened by her passing and would like to extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The case was referred to the coroner, and investigations showed that the cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy.

"We seek the public's understanding to avoid speculation or spreading of rumours that may add to the family's grief during this difficult time."

It detailed her medical history with the two centres - stating that she was first admitted to NUHCS for management of her cardiac condition in July 2021.

It said: "At the time, Covid-19 vaccination was not assessed to be a direct cause of her heart failure. Other causal factors such as genetic causes were considered, taking into account her family history."

It added that later in September, Ms Seah underwent a magnetic resonance imaging heart scan, with the results suggesting that idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) was the underlying cause of her condition.

The statement added that she then sought a second opinion and treatment for her cardiac condition at NHCS in December 2021.

It said: "During her hospitalisation, the medical team discussed with her and her family on how to better manage her cardiac condition with various device implantation options.

"As the patient needed time to consider the options, a follow-up appointment was scheduled in January 2022. Unfortunately, she passed away a day prior to the appointment. NHCS has met the patient's family and addressed their concerns."

Earlier, a social media post by Mr Neubronner Jeremy – her fiance – said Ms Seah’s heart issues began after her vaccination. 

The post was accompanied by a photo of a memo signed by a "Dr R Wong" from NUHCS dated October 2021 that read: "The above is suspected to have Covid vaccine side effects on the heart. Kindly consider an alternative Covid vaccine as the booster regime."

According to the post, Ms Seah died at home on Jan 12.

Mr Jeremy, who is 42 and works in the security industry, told The Straits Times that Ms Seah’s elder brother has requested  a full coroner’s report. 

The pair had met in April last year and immediately hit it off. They started applying for a flat in November with the intention of getting married this year.

He said: “I feel the heart centre’s reply is fair while the investigation is ongoing.

“The timing and the fact that my fiancee was perfectly well and active up to late May have raised questions. I don’t have the answers. So we will be waiting for the coroner’s inquiry.”

Ms Seah's death triggered condolence posts on Facebook accounts related to the local football scene.

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