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‘He was beating himself up’: Fit and healthy man, 42, killed by COVID regretted refusing vaccine

Written by on 05/08/2021

The sister of a fit and healthy man who died from COVID-19 says her brother was “beating himself up” over his decision not to get vaccinated during his final days, as she issued a warning over jabs misinformation.  

John Eyers, 42, from Southport, Merseyside died last week – exactly a month after catching the virus.

The “fit” and “adventurous” father-of-one had been climbing Welsh mountains and wild camping a month before he became seriously ill.

John Eyers
Image: The father-of-one was climbing mountains and camping in the weeks before he fell ill
John Eyers
Image: He had fears about the safety of the vaccines on offer

His twin sister Jenny McCann, from London, told Sky News her brother “bought into” misinformation surrounding the safety of coronavirus vaccines and didn’t believe he would die from the virus.

She said: “[Firstly], he felt that he was young, fit, healthy, very active and really into his health and nutrition.

“He felt that he would be ok and I think he didn’t know anyone who had [contracted] COVID.

John Eyers wasn't vaccinated
Image: He told a doctor he regretted not getting vaccinated while in intensive care

“Secondly, he had bought slightly into this age of disinformation that we are living in and some conspiracy theories about the safety of the vaccine and what’s in [it].

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“I had tried to dissuade him from that.”

Mr Eyers, who leaves behind a 19-year-old daughter, deteriorated quickly when he was admitted to Southport hospital with the virus at the start of July.

He was moved to intensive care a week later but faced a “very quick decline” from then on.

Jenny McCann's brother died after refusing a vaccination
Image: Jenny McCann wants to raise awareness of vaccine misinformation and the risks of contracting COVID

“The hospital threw everything at him”, Ms McCann said.

“Finally when the Euros finals were on – which bizarrely was also eight years to the day that my mum was in the same intensive care unit, which was obviously very traumatic for my brother – John was ventilated and it was very scary for him.”

While he was still conscious, Mr Eyers admitted to doctors that he regretted his decision not to get vaccinated.

Ms McCann said: “He didn’t admit it to me personally.

John Eyers was fit and healthy
Image: Mr Eyers was ‘adventurous’, strong and healthy but became seriously ill

“He was a really proud and stubborn man. I think that would have been a really hard thing for him mentally to have to grapple with.

“But he did talk to his very lovely doctor about [his decision]. He was beating himself up and wished he had done it.”

Mr Eyers was placed on a ventilator for just over two weeks before he died.

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Data shows vaccines reduce risk of death

Ms McCann said people’s anger should be directed towards those who spread misinformation, instead of those who choose not to get vaccinated.

“I think we need to be really clear about this. It shouldn’t be the people that are believing disinformation that we should be angry at.

“It should be the small group of people who are spreading disinformation and making lies fact.”

Mr Eyer’s “avoidable and senseless” death has left a “mountain-shaped hole” in the lives of his family and friends.

Ms McCann appreciates vaccination is a personal choice but says she wants people to be properly informed, instead of believing what they see on social media.

“This could happen to you – you could be one of the unlucky ones,” she said.

“Don’t believe the disinformation. Seek professional medical advice and don’t listen to people on Facebook spreading lies.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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