A Covid-19 vaccine refuser says he “stared death in the eyes” as he gasped for air in the hospital after contracting the virus – and has urged the British to get the sting.
Abderrahmane Fadil, 60, said refusing the vaccination was “the biggest mistake of his life” and that he would now go “to hell and back” to get the vaccine.
He turned down a coronavirus vaccine when it was first offered to those over 60 in February.
But he was taken to the Bradford Royal Infirmary earlier this month to breathe and spent nine days in the hospital.
While he expects to recover for many more weeks, he thanked the NHS staff for saving his life.
And now he admits that turning down his vaccination invitation was “the biggest mistake” of his life and has urged others to get vaccinated.
Mr Fadil, a father of two, said, “Covid is not something to play with. It is no joke.
“The vaccine is a lifesaver for humanity. It’s vital so please don’t hesitate to get it like me.
“Refusing the vaccination was the biggest mistake of my life. I was going to hell and back now to get the vaccine.”
Mr Fadil, who lives in Bradford, West York with his wife Khadija and two young sons Rayan, 9 and Aryan, 7, spent nine days in a Covid ward.
He said his two boys were moved to tears when they videotaped him every day.
And while he tried to reassure them that he would be fine, he admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure if it was so.
He added, “When I was brought in, I gasped and my temperature rose. I was very afraid.
“My little boys were crying. They cried every day when I ‘FaceTiming’.
“I always tried to reassure them that Daddy wasn’t going to die and that he would be home soon, but sometimes I wasn’t sure.
“I have families in all parts of the world and they were very concerned.
“Some of them went to Bradford to see me, but of course they couldn’t see them. You have all prayed for me. “
Mr. Fadil is originally from Casablanca, Morocco and has lived in London for many years, where he studied medicine and forensics.
He moved north, trained as a teacher, and now teaches a variety of subjects, including science, in a number of schools in the West Yorkshire area.
He was offered the COVID-19 vaccine back in February when people aged 60 and over received calls but declined.
Mr. Fadil said, “The invitation to the jab came and I hesitated a little because I was doing so well at the time.
“I was a little reluctant and just thought, I’ll keep my horses and maybe get it later. I never really believed that I would get COVID or that it would make me so sick. I know differently now.”
Mr Fadil, who has recovered enough now to go home to be reunited with his family, praised the hospital staff.
He added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to take care of me. I cannot thank the staff enough.
“You did everything for me. You literally saved my life. There are not enough words to express my gratitude.”
Breath Advisor Tanveer Khalid, part of the team responsible for looking after Mr. Fadil, said, “Mr. Fadil was very lucky. When he was admitted, he was extremely ill and in need of life-saving CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.
“We are very happy that he is well enough to be home now, but I hope people will listen to his message.
“The majority of the very sick COVID patients we have on our wards are here because they rejected the vaccine.
“We have other sick patients on the wards who received their COVID vaccine but were hospitalized for other conditions, and it is these other conditions that are making them sick, not COVID.
“This proves the vaccines are working. I appeal to everyone; anyone over the age of 18 can get the vaccination now. Please go and get it. It could save your life.”