Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

No, the Media Did Not Frame a Vaccine Adverse Reaction as ‘Sudden Adult Death Syndrome’

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: June 7, 2022
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is unrelated to vaccines and Catherine Keane was unvaccinated when she died.
A defibrillator at California State University, Long Beach. The establishment media, perhaps surprisingly, did not frame a vaccine adverse reaction under the bogus “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” moniker. (Image: David McNew/Getty Images)

The term “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” (SADS) has recently made the rounds on the anti-vaccine and anti-mandate segments of social media platforms — specifically Twitter — after an article from a UK-based publication appeared to normalize the sudden and unexpected death of an otherwise healthy and active 31-year-old woman by coining a new and generically-named syndrome. 

However, the instance is, perhaps surprisingly, not a case of establishment media whitewashing vaccine adverse reactions. In this case, the deceased was not only almost certainly unvaccinated, but the syndrome described has existed for years and is unrelated to any virus.


SADS started to make the rounds shortly after a May 30 article by UK-based The Mirror chronicled the case of 31-year-old Dublin resident Catherine Keane who died suddenly in her sleep. 

The article, which is based on a writeup from the Irish edition of the outlet, recounted the case, which is actually a year old and occurred on July 6, 2021, after Keane’s mother Margherita spoke out.

According to the mother, Keane lived with two friends in a flat in Rathmines as everyone worked from home amid lockdown. 

She described the passing of her daughter rather flatly, “They sent her a text at 11.20am and when she didn’t reply, they checked her room and found she had passed. Her friend heard a noise in her room at 3.56am and believes now that is when she died.”

Social outrage came resulting from a combination of the article’s headline: Heartbreak As Young Irish Woman Who ‘Went To Gym and Walked 10K Steps Every Day’ Dies In Sleep and subhead and lede that states, “The heartbroken mother of a young advertising executive who died suddenly last year urged parents to get their children screened for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome if there is a family history of cardiac illness.”


As the mention started to make its rounds, the Twitterverse in specific was certainly up in arms. One of the most popular posts on the topic of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome was posted on June 5 from The Dean Podcast: 

“I’m not hearing many reports of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome occurring among the UNVACCINATED,” the account stated with great virality.

Despite having only 14,000 followers as of time of writing, the tweet itself picked up more than 3,600 retweets and almost 15,000 likes. 

Another post by a popular French-British free speech pundit with 58,000 followers more succinctly summed up the nature of the outrage:

“SADS—Sudden Adult Death Syndrome—is very sad. What’s even sadder is when people as a group are pretending it’s normal. But what is truly astonishing & frankly disgusting is the people who pretend it’s normal when it’s their son/niece/friend who suddenly dies,” she stated the same day, scoring 1,357 likes. 

The insinuation in both cases is that Catherine Keane’s sudden death was caused by a vaccine adverse reaction to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) gene therapy injections.

Not without merit

The supposition itself is not without merit or precedence. For example, in November of 2021, a 26-year-old South Dakota man’s Apple Watch recorded two days of irregular heartbeat before he died suddenly just four days after accepting his Pfizer booster.

The man, who was described by his mother as pro-vaccine and working in an environment that required vaccination to maintain employment, had his cause of death recorded as “multifocal myocarditis involving the left ventricle and septum” on the Certificate of Death, with “Recent Pfizer COVID 19 Booster Vaccine” attributed in the comments section. 

According to the family, the man began to suffer from fatigue and other mild symptoms 72 hours after the booster injection. He could not return to work the next day due to increased fatigue, and then died suddenly in his recliner while having a conversation with online friends. 

Additionally, there has been quite a rash of professional athletes — mostly in Europe — suffering from sudden heart attacks on field or even passing away suddenly, often with direct public history of vaccine acceptance being noted.

By the end of 2021, one website chronicling the trend had logged at least 384 instances based mostly on publicly available news stories.

Suspect spike protein

The association is exacerbated by a well-documented trend of myocarditis and/or pericarditis developing — often in otherwise healthy young men — after vaccine acceptance. 

However, heart inflammation has also been documented as occurring in the unvaccinated who have simply tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Notably, sleeper Operation Warp Speed contender Novavax, who has a pending decision from the FDA on whether an EUA will be issued for its protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine, was also revealed to be associated with cases of myocarditis in recipients as young as 16 in recent public documents released by the FDA. 

The finding is notable as the company’s protein subunit vaccine is a more traditional form of vaccine to the novel gene therapy variants created and deployed worldwide by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.

Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome

The controversy has served as an opportunity for the pro-vaccine pro-mandate crowd to discredit vaccine skeptics on the basis that a similar syndrome with the same acronym and general meaning already exists: Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

In fact, this term is pushed to the forefront when searching for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome on both Bing and Google as of time of writing.

The British Heart Foundation has an entry for the arrhythmic version of SADS, which states, “Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome is when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest, but the cause of the cardiac arrest can’t be found.”

This description appears to match that of Catherine Keane’s death rather aptly. 

The discrepancy led some pundits, such as Canadian shock jock Dean Blundell to claim in a June 5 blog post, “Sudden adult death syndrome is not a real thing. It’s just the religious crazies looking for medical freedom.”

“‘Sudden Adult Death Syndrome’ is trending on this beautiful Sunday because the religious right and conspiracy knobs want you to be afraid of vaccines because they think vaccines are a sin against God,” barked Blundell.

He added, “It’s so [expletive] old, and it’s boring.”

A plot hole

There’s a big problem for proponents of the theory that Keane died from a vaccine adverse reaction and that the case is being normalized by establishment media under the moniker “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.” 

The plot holes are simply paramount. 

One problem that keeps the thesis from holding water is that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence Keane was a vaccine recipient. 

Additionally, an Obituary published in an Irish industry magazine by the Managing Director of the company Keane worked for painted a picture that the deceased was not particularly gung-ho about mandate and lockdowns in general when he stated, “She forged strong bonds with the wider team, and it gave me great pleasure to see Cat and the guys back out and enjoying dinner and drinks as the restrictions lifted.”

Not only is there no evidence Keane was vaccinated, but the most fundamental problem with the theory problem is that a July 2, 2021 Press Release by the Ireland Department of Health stated that vaccine registration for the 30 to 34-year-old age bracket would not even begin until July 9, three days after Keane’s death.

So whodunnit?

For both sides of the aisle in the argument, an inconvenient truth is simply that “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” does appear to be a real syndrome, rather than something made up out of thin air or simply being confused with “Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.”

Based on a 2016 study published in the European Heart Journal by UK researchers, instances of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome were investigated “after two young, asymptomatic adults…died suddenly and unexpectedly.”

Additionally, the study found, “A further six cases of sudden death among extended family members have been identified from interrogation of family pedigrees.”

But not only does the study predate the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic by at least three years, the instances were attributed to a common DNA mitochondrial mutation known as m.3243A>G.

“Pathological studies including histochemistry and molecular genetic analyses performed on various post-mortem samples including cardiac tissues (atrium and ventricles) showed marked respiratory chain deficiency and high levels of the m.3243A>G mutation,” the study stated.

And concluded, “Finally, due to the prevalence of this mtDNA point mutation, we recommend inclusion of testing for m.3243A>G mutations in the genetic autopsy of all unexplained cases of SADS.”