Watch: Anti-vaxxer, 52, begs people to 'get their jabs' after nearly dying over Christmas
An anti-vaxxer who refused a coronavirus jab has urged people to get vaccinated after he spent Christmas fighting for his life in hospital.
Andrew Pugh, 52, a father-of-three from Worcester, Worcestershire, admitted he thought he was “being the hero” for avoiding a COVID-19 vaccine.
But he later became so ill his family were told by hospital staff he had a 50/50 chance of survival.
The refuse collector said he “wishes he’d had the vaccine” after contracting coronavirus before Christmas and being rushed into intensive care.
Speaking from his hospital bed at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where he spent three weeks in the ICU, Mr Pugh 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 - they saved my life.
"I want to say thank you to the staff in the ICU for giving me my second chance, it has been hard and it still is.
"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."
Mr Pugh has been moved from intensive care on to a ward but remains on oxygen.
He was admitted to hospital on 5 December and was only allowed one visitor to spend an hour with him on Christmas Day.
His niece, Sophie Pugh, organised a collection for the staff on the intensive care unit as a thank you for their work.
She said: "We managed 16 bags, three boxes, bottles of water and juice plus a few vouchers.
"All of it has been donated to the intensive care unit currently caring for Andrew, they potentially saved his life.
"To say they were shocked was an understatement, thank you to every single person that helped make this happen."
According to the government’s latest figures, more than 51.8 million people in the UK have had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 47.4 million have had two doses. More than 34.2 million people have had a booster or a third dose.
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