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A US family have spoken of their torment after a dad-of-five died shortly after saying he regretted not getting a Covid-19 vaccination.
Michael Freedy, 39, caught the virus while on holiday in San Diego with fiancée Jessica DuPreez and their children.
He died in hospital two weeks later.
The couple had been together for seven years, and their youngest child is only 17-months-old.
In one of his last messages to his fiancée, Michael wrote: "I should have gotten the damn vaccine".
Speaking to Missouri TV station KMOV, Ms Dupreez said: "We wanted to wait just one year from the release [of the vaccine] to see what effects people had, but there was never any intention to not get it."
She also confirmed that she and her eldest have now both had their first dose.
Ms Dupreez spoke of her shock at her husband's death from the illness at such a young age, saying: "He was only 39. Our babies now don't have a dad. You can't say I am young and it won't affect me because it will."
"I expected to get 30 more years with him."
Michael discovered he was infected when attending hospital to seek treatment for sunburn back home. He tested positive for Coronavirus there, and was told to self-isolate at home.
When he began to feel dizzy during the night he was rushed back to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia.
After he had spent six days in the hospital, Ms DuPreez received a text from her fiancé which read: "Hey baby! It's important. 911, 911, 911.
"They are taking me to ICU. I love you so much with everything that I am!!!!"
Soon after this message, he was put under sedation and given intubation. Michael died on Thursday, with Ms DuPreez by his side.
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This follows a similar tragic case in the UK also involving a father in his 30s. Matthew Keenan died after spending several days on a ventilator battling Covid.
After receiving his permission the week before, consultant Leanne Cheyne passed on a message about his regret over not getting the vaccine, saying that if he "could turn back time he would".
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The United States has the highest death toll from the virus in the world, and health officials there are fighting a range of online disinformation regarding the country's free vaccination programme.
This is believed to be one of the main reasons why a third of Americans have not had a jab yet.
- Covid vaccine
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