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An anti-vaxxer who almost died of Covid-19 has celebrated his return home by getting jabbed. Watch him share a warning from hospital here:
Andrew Pugh, from Worcester, initially refused to get vaccinated, having been convinced by conspiracy theories he'd read on social media.
Indeed, the binman even declared that he was a 'hero' for swerving the jab, despite the protestations of his partner of 20 years.
But the dad-of-three contracted the virus last month, as cases soared across the UK, and he was rushed to Royal Worcestershire Hospital's intensive care unit on 5 December, where he was told he had a 50/50 chance of survival.
Thankfully, after a horrific six-week struggle, the 52-year-old pulled through and was allowed to return to his family.
He said: "I got released from hospital and the very first thing I did was have my jab.
"It's a huge relief to have the jab. I don't want anyone else to go through what I have put my family through.
"If I had my time again I would definitely have had the vaccine as soon as it was available."
Indeed, while he may have survived his battle with coronavirus, he is now fighting long Covid, which has made the simplest of tasks arduous.
He said: "Everyday is a struggle - it still takes my breath away.
"Since being home, I have had to learn breathing techniques to help to every day tasks. You have to really calm yourself down.
"Even walking up the stairs is still a massive challenge for me.
"The doctors did tell me it could around four to six weeks to start feeling better.
"I still have breathing apparatus at home which is a struggle sometimes and I am still constantly coughing."
Now Andrew hopes his story will convince others to get vaccinated and prevent them from putting their families through the same 'hell' as he put his through.
He said: "I didn't get the vaccine, I thought I was being the hero.
"If it wasn't for the nurses and the fact I'm a non-smoker I wouldn't be alive.
"My message is simply this: please people get your vaccinations, you don't want to end up like me.
"When you're dead and all your family are heartbroken you can't turn around and say 'I wish I had the vaccine'.
"This is very real and people need to get their jabs. If I can help others to get vaccinated now, that would be great.
"I've put my family through sheer hell. I was being so selfish, it's woken me up."
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