Jackie ‘O’ Henderson’s ex-husband Lee Henderson has been seen for the first time since it was revealed he suffered an adverse reaction to his second Pfizer vaccine.
Lee, a photographer from England, dressed casually in a black T-shirt and blue jeans in Sydney as he engaged in conversation with what appeared to be a neighbour.
Jackie announced on Friday’s the Kyle and Jackie O Show that Lee had experienced the same complication as Seven News reporter Denham Hitchcock, who was hospitalised last month with pericarditis – a rare condition when the sac-like tissue surrounding the heart becomes inflamed.
First sighting: Jackie ‘O’ Henderson’s ex-husband Lee was seen for the first time in Sydney on Friday (pictured) after it was revealed he was hospitalised with an extremely rare heart complication as a side effect of his second Pfizer jab
Lee teamed his casual ensemble with a pair of black sneakers, and despite looking gaunt, appeared to be in good spirits as he shared a few words with a companion.
While he’s yet to publicly comment on his condition, Jackie, 46, told NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian he’d been hospitalised and was ‘in a bad way’.
‘You’d be aware what has happened to Denham Hitchcock, and my ex-husband has had the same thing. He’s been in hospital and really, really in a bad way after the second Pfizer,’ she said on her radio program.
Casual: Lee, a photographer from England, dressed casually in a black T-shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers
Health complication: Jackie announced on Friday’s the Kyle and Jackie O Show that Lee had experienced the same complication as Seven News reporter Denham Hitchcock
Rare condition: Hitchcock was hospitalised last month with pericarditis – a rare condition when the sac-like tissue surrounding the heart becomes inflamed
Jackie added that it was ‘up to [Lee] to report’ his adverse reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine because the hospital doesn’t automatically do it.
Ms Berejiklian, who was a guest on the KIIS FM breakfast show, said she wasn’t aware of Lee’s condition but emphasised that health authorities do put out a statement whenever someone has an adverse reaction to the jab.
Jackie, who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, acknowledged that in many cases doctors aren’t ‘a hundred per cent sure’ pericarditis is caused by the jab.
Demeanour: Despite looking gaunt, Lee appeared to be in good spirits as he shared a few words with a female companion and smiled at a cute dog
Comments: While he’s yet to publicly comment on his condition, Jackie, 46, told NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday’s radio show that he’d been hospitalised and was ‘in a bad way’
Conversation: Lee shared a few words with what appeared to be a neighbour
On the mend: He appeared relaxed and at ease following the news of his condition
She also stressed that she is ‘pro-vax’.
The former couple, who share 10-year-old daughter Kitty, amicably separated in late 2018 and are understood to have recently finalised their divorce.
Lee is not believed to have any underlying health conditions. He is a martial arts enthusiast who is known to keep fit and active.
Brighter spirits: Lee patted a cute dog during the friendly encounter
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Jackie for further comment and clarification.
Lee’s side effect comes after Denham Hitchcock, a father of one, was hospitalised and diagnosed with pericarditis – inflammation of sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart – after he rolled up his sleeve for a Covid vaccine on the Gold Coast.
Taking to Instagram last month, he recalled the ordeal to his 27,000-plus social media followers in depth, and also revealed he will be fully healed in six months.
On air comments: Jackie ‘O’ claimed on Friday that Lee (pictured with their daughter Kitty) suffered an adverse reaction to his second Pfizer vaccine
‘A massive thanks for all the well wishes and messages. I’ve been blown away and a little embarrassed,’ he said.
‘The hospital stay took care of the chest pains but I’m still left with the headaches, chills, fatigue and pins and needles and numbness down both forearms and half the hands.
‘But if I stay on top of the medication and eat Nurofen like popcorn, then it’s really not so bad.’
Denham stated how disappointed he was after going from being ‘extremely fit to a cardiac ward after a vaccine’.
Exes: The former couple amicably separated in late 2018 and are understood to have recently finalised their divorce. Lee is not believed to have any underlying health conditions
But he clarified it’s ‘better to be vaccinated and risk the side effects’ than it is to not be vaccinated.
‘I am not anti vax – or pro vax – but pro choice and pro information. But regardless no one should have a death or serious injury in the family and feel like it was covered up,’ he said.
‘Eventually we are all going to come into contact with Covid. Is it better to be vaccinated (and risk the side effects) or take it on, let the body deal with it (and risk covid side effects).’
Official: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured), who was a guest on Friday’s Kyle and Jackie O Show, wasn’t aware of Lee’s condition but said health authorities do put out a statement whenever someone has an adverse reaction to the jab
The media identity concluded his post by stating his ‘personal thoughts will depend on my recovery’.
A number of his followers were quick to use Denham’s experience to highlight the apparent dangers of the Covid vaccine, but he clarified his standpoint.
‘In the short term at least the data would suggest the vaccinated countries are doing better as they have high transmission rates – but far less deaths,’ he said.
Vaccine skeptics soon hijacked his message, however.
Making headlines: Lee’s side effect comes after Denham Hitchcock (pictured), a father of one, was hospitalised and diagnosed with pericarditis – inflammation of sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart – after he rolled up his sleeve for a Covid vaccine on the Gold Coast
‘I don’t know anymore what is more scary; Covid, the vaccine or the government’s restrictions for the unvaccinated. Probably the latter,’ commented one woman.
‘We know that things are being kept from us all in the name of reaching the next “milestone”,’ another ominously wrote.
‘Please don’t be silenced as I’m sure you will be asked to tow the line. Don’t give up on being a voice for so many,’ added a third.
Prominent anti-vaxxer Instagram influencer Chloe Szepanowski and NRL WAG Frankie Winterstein also weighed in on the post, thanking Denham for sharing his story.
Instagram post: Hitchcock claimed the condition was caused by his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine, and called on the government to ‘keep your damn promise’ on opening up the world
Pericarditis and Pfizer – how rare is the side effect?
Australia’s medicine regulator TGA has been notified of 50 cases of pericarditis as a result of 3.2million Pfizer doses – a rate of 1 in 64,000
In the UK, the latest data found for every 1million Pfizer jabs there were 3.8cases of pericarditis – a rate of 1 in 263,157
Men and teenagers under the age of 30 are most at risk of the rare side-effect after their second dose of Pfizer
Professor Jason Kovacic, the Executive Director of the Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute, said pericarditis was ‘generally a mild, short-lived illness’
He said the risks of getting heart conditions as a result of Covid are much higher than Pfizer
‘The risk of having some form of heart complications if you contract Covid-19 is about 1000 times higher at ~5-10%,’ he said.
Earlier, the accomplished investigative journalist shared his condition on social media and called on the government to ‘keep your damn promise’ on opening up the country.
‘I’ve battled over whether to send this post from hospital or not. But decided after 27 years of being a journalist who’s primary goal is to discover the truth – it would be hypocritical not to,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘Probably a little late to hospital – but here I am – diagnosed with pericarditis – or inflammation of the heart due to the Pfizer vaccine.’
Denham made the initial post from his hospital bed in Gold Coast University Hospital, 25 days after he received the shot.
He said at first he was experiencing a racing heart, pins and needles, and dizziness, but continued on thinking they were normal side effects.
After three weeks he was still suffering from severe symptoms, including sharp chest pain, chills, and the dizziness had become extreme.
Denham, whose Instagram is littered with pictures of him being active, participating in extreme sports and showing off his trim figure, said the condition was not being spoken about enough.
‘Since being here I’ve contacted health professionals I know in Sydney and while It’s rare – it’s certainly not isolated,’ he said.
‘One hospital has had well over a dozen cases like me.’
Pericarditis and myocarditis have been observed in an extremely small number of people after they receiving mRNA vaccines, of which Pfizer is one.
The cases were disproportionately men and teenagers under the age of 30 after their second dose of the jab.
British data released on Monday found the rate of pericarditis was 3.8 cases per 1million doses of the Pfizer shot.
The rate is higher from the Moderna vaccine, at 13 cases, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced he has ordered to arrive in the country before the end of the year.
By July 8, the TGA was notified of 50 cases of pericarditis in Australia as a result of 3.2 million Pfizer doses.
From his hospital bed: Denham made the post from his hospital bed in Gold Coast University Hospital, 25 days after he received the shot
‘In the current vaccine frenzy, no one is talking about this but it’s clearly happening,’ he said.
‘If you want the vaccine and have any heart history it would be worth talking to your GP about your vaccine choice, especially as AZ is readily available and does not have this side effect.’
The Channel Seven reporter said he wasn’t discouraging people to get the Pfizer vaccine, rather to evaluate their choices, but recognised that unvaccinated people would be prevented from travel in the future.
‘Above all I’m PRO opening the bloody country up and to do that I don’t see any way around getting the majority of Australia vaccinated,’ he said.
His experience: ‘In the current vaccine frenzy, no one is talking about this but it’s clearly happening,’ he said
‘If you don’t want the vaccine – I don’t have a problem with that either – [fine], but life and travel will get difficult for you.
‘The only thing for me that’s dead certain – if they don’t open Australia up when we reach their milestone of  per cent – then there will be a lot more people marching in the street. You want the trust? Keep your damn promise.’
Professor Jason Kovacic, the Executive Director of the Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute, told Daily Mail Australia pericarditis can happen after Covid vaccines but only in ‘very, very rare’ cases.
‘Covid-19 vaccines can cause specific heart problems such as myocarditis and pericarditis, and particularly in males less than 30 years of age – but only very, very rarely,’ Professor Kovacic said.
‘About 60 people per one million can get myocarditis with the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) and it is generally a mild, short-lived illness. These complications cause inflammation of the heart muscle or inflammation of the lining around the heart muscle.
Active: Denham, who’s Instagram is littered with pictures of him being active, participating in extreme sports and showing off his trim figure
‘These complications have been reported in just a handful of people around the world and to the best of our knowledge most of them have recovered.’
Professor Kovacic said the risks of getting heart conditions as a result of Covid are much higher, and that the vaccine is the best safeguard to preventing these illnesses.
‘In contrast, the risk of having some form of heart complications if you contract Covid-19 is about 1000 times higher at ~5-10%,’ he said.
‘A very recent observational study has shown that young males infected with the virus are up to six times more likely to develop myocarditis as opposed to those who received the vaccine.
‘Covid-19 vaccines are incredibly safe and incredibly effective at preventing people from getting seriously unwell with Covid-19 infection.
‘The benefits for being vaccinated far outweigh any risk to the heart, especially given the highly infectious nature of the Delta variant which is now affecting an increasing number of young people.’
Condition: The investigative journalist said he has pericarditis – inflammation of a sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart that holds it in place and helps it function