Brit anti-vaxxers change of heart after staring death in the eyes in hospital

A British anti-vaxxer says he "stared death in the eyes" as he lay gasping for breath in hospital after catching the virus and has urged others to get the jab.

Abderrahmane Fadil, 60, said refusing the Covid-19 jab was "the biggest mistake of his life" and he would "go to hell and back" now to get the vaccine.

He turned down the vaccine when it was first offered to the over-60s back in February.

But he was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary in West Yorkshire earlier this month struggling to breathe and spent nine days in hospital.

He says declining the vaccination invitation was "the biggest mistake" of his life and urged others to get vaccinated.

Mr Fadil, a father-of-two, said: "Covid is not something to be played with. It's not a joke.

"The vaccine is a life-saver for mankind. It's vital to survive so please do not hesitate to get it as I did.

"Refusing the jab was the biggest mistake of my life. I would go to hell and back now to get the vaccine."

Mr Fadil, lives in Bradford, West Yorks., with wife, Khadija and two young sons, Rayan, nine and Aryan, seven, spent nine days on a Covid ward.

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He said his boys were reduced to tears when they video called him every day.

And while he tried to reassure them he was going to be ok, he was not entirely sure he would be.

He added: "When I was brought in, I was gasping for breath and my temperature had soared. I was very frightened.

"My little boys were crying. They have cried every day when 'FaceTiming' me.

"I've just kept trying to reassure them that daddy won't die and he'll be home soon but at times I wasn't sure."

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Originally from Casablanca, Morocco, Mr Fadil lived in London for many years, where he studied medicine and forensic science.

He moved north, trained as a teacher and now teaches a variety of subjects including science at schools in West Yorkshire.

Mr Fadil was offered the vaccine back in February when people aged 60 and over were called, but refused.

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He said: "The invite for the jab came and I was a little hesitant as I was so well at the time.

"I was a bit reluctant and just thought I'll hold my horses and maybe get it later.

"I never really believed I would get Covid or it would make me so ill. I know differently now."

He has now recovered enough to go home to be reunited with his family, praised staff at the hospital.

He added: "I could not have wished for a better place for my care. I cannot thank staff enough.

"They have done everything for me. They have literally saved my life. There are not enough words to express my gratitude."

Respiratory consultant Tanveer Khalid, said: "The majority of very sick COVID patients we have on our wards are here because they have refused the vaccine.

"We have other poorly patients on the wards, who have had their Covid vaccine but they have been brought into hospital due to other conditions and it is those other conditions making them ill, not Covid

"This proves the vaccines are working. I'm appealing to everyone; anyone over 18 can now get the jab. Please go and get it. It could save your life."

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