Yorkshire dad says refusing Covid vaccine was ‘biggest mistake of his life’ after he ‘stared death in the eyes’ when he caught virus

A Covid-19 vaccine refuser says he "stared death in the eyes" as he lay gasping for breath in hospital after catching the virus - and has urged Brits to get the jab.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 8:44 am
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 1:16 pm
Abderrahmane Fadil is now urging Brits to get the vaccine
Abderrahmane Fadil is now urging Brits to get the vaccine

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

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

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

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While he expects to be recovering for many weeks to come, he has thanked NHS staff for saving his life.

And now he admits declining his vaccination invite 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 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, who lives in Bradford with his wife, Khadija and two young sons, Rayan, nine and Aryan, seven, spent nine days on a Covid ward.

He said his two 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 admits 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.

“I have family in all parts of the world and they were very concerned.

"Some of them travelled to Bradford to see me but of course they were unable to visit. They have all been praying for me.”

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

He moved north and trained as a teacher and now teaches a variety of subjects including science at 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 were called, but refused.

Mr Fadil 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.”

Mr Fadil, who 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, part of the team responsible for Mr Fadil’s care, said: “Mr Fadil has been very lucky. He was extremely poorly when he was admitted and needed life-saving CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy.

“We are so pleased he is now well enough to be back at home but I hope people will listen to his message.

"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.”