A fit and healthy 42-year-old father with a love of rock climbing and bodybuilding sent a message to his twin sister saying ‘don’t let them give up on me’ shortly before he died after contracting coronavirus.
John Eyers, a construction expert from Southport, Merseyside, had been climbing the Welsh mountains and wild camping one month before his death in July, which came exactly four weeks after he tested positive.
His twin sister Jenny McCann from London said he was the ‘fittest, healthiest person I know’ and had thought he would only have a ‘mild illness’ if he contracted coronavirus, adding that he had a ‘belief in his own immortality’. Mrs McCann said that Mr Eyers had ‘no underlying health conditions’ but did also state that he had asthma.
Before going onto a ventilator in hospital, Mr Eyers told his consultant that he wished he had been vaccinated – and died in intensive care after suffering from an infection and organ failure, leaving behind a daughter aged 19.
Mrs McCann revealed the last text she received from her twin brother before he was induced into a coma, sent on July 11, read: ‘Don’t let them give up on me.’
Mr Eyers’ condition got progressively worse and, on the morning of July 27, his family was told he was dying.
He died later that day, moments before his family arrived at his bedside.
John Eyers, 42, had been climbing the Welsh mountains and wild camping one month before his death from Covid in July this year
Before going onto a ventilator in hospital, Mr Eyers told his consultant that he wished he had been vaccinated, his sister said
In May, his sister Jenny McCann had tweeted a selfie after getting her first jab, saying: ‘Full on tears after getting Covid jab’
Mrs McCann, of Pinner, North West London, who got her first vaccine jab on May 10, described her brother as a ‘staunch anti-vaxxer’. She added that the family had ‘all fallen out with him over his stance’.
The mother-of-two posted a series of tweets about Mr Eyers in August, a week after he died, saying: ‘My 42-year-old old twin brother died in ITU (intensive treatment unit) of Covid-19 last week. He died exactly four weeks after testing positive.
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Dr Leanne Cheyne, a respiratory consultant at the hospital, shared a photo of him in an oxygen mask and hooked up to a ventilator as he fought for his life.
Glenn Barratt told nurses that he wished he had been jabbed
A 51-year-old man who chose not to be jabbed died with Covid-19, with his final words to bedside nurses and doctors being: ‘I wish I had.’
Glenn Barratt, from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, is thought to have caught coronavirus while watching England v Croatia at a venue in June during Euro 2020.
All over 50s had been offered a jab by mid-April, but he chose not to have it and died in hospital after fighting the virus for weeks.
‘He was the fittest, healthiest person I know. He was climbing Welsh mountains and wild camping four weeks before his death. The only pre-existing health condition he had was the belief in his own immortality.
‘He thought if he contracted Covid-19 he would be OK. He thought he would have a mild illness. He didn’t want to put a vaccine on his body. His was pumped full of every drug in the hospital. They threw everything at him.
‘But eventually the bedfellow of Covid-19, infection and organ failure, claimed his life. Before he was ventilated he told his consultant that he wished he had been vaccinated. That he wished he had listened. His death is a tragedy.
‘It shouldn’t have happened. He leaves a mum and dad, a sister (me), and a 19-year-old daughter. My two children have lost their fun uncle. The Uncle who would always play with them.
‘The uncle that dressed up as Father Christmas on Christmas Day. My mum has lost her baby boy. My niece, her much loved and needed Dad.
‘This shouldn’t have happened. My mum wants people to know about John. For his story to save someone’s life. For pain and loss to drive people to get a vaccine.’
Back on May 10, Mrs McCann had tweeted a selfie of her with her vaccine card after getting her first jab, saying: ‘Full on tears after getting Covid jab. Really shows the collective weight we’ve all been carrying. So grateful to the NHS.’
Then on July 3, Mrs McCann wrote: ‘To all anti-vaxxers, my staunch, anti vaxxer, non-mask wearing, 42-year-old twin, is now in hospital with Covid and pneumonia. Rushed in an ambulance as struggled to breathe. Quite simply, if he’d had the vaccine, he wouldn’t be. Get the vaccine.’
Mr Eyers worked as a senior management and technical specification professional within the construction industry for chemical manufacturing company Kerakoll.
After his death, tributes poured in from friends, with Lisa Hames saying: ‘I am still in utter shock after hearing such heartbreaking news last week about my incredible friend, John Eyers.
‘I first met John when we studied together at Southport College, which then lead on to us working together and for over 25 years we have still remained great friends.
‘John most certainly was one in a million, a true gentleman and will be truly missed by so many. My thoughts are with all his family & his friends.’
Charlie Garforth added: ‘John Eyers was a great guy who I had a lot of time for. This is tragic for the family.
‘But also a wake up call because because it feels very close to home. He had a lifestyle and the health most of us wish for in our early 40s.’
Construction expert Mr Eyers was described by his sister Jenny McCann as the ‘fittest, healthiest person I know’
Mr Eyers, of Southport, Merseyside, leaves behind his parents and a daughter aged 19 as well as his twin sister Jenny
Linda Rowney said: ‘John was a very dear colleague, and friend of mine. To say I am extremely upset it an understatement. Please get vaccinated, it might save your life.’
Katie Halton wrote: T’he perfect gentleman, charismatic, kind, a heart of gold, the greatest friend, and the best napkin rose maker around. John Eyers, loved by everyone. You will be so missed.’
And Mo Jabbar said: ‘So many adventures we will no longer see, but I am truly grateful for the ones we shared.
‘The camps, the climbs, and the life chats on the way up to the Hangar. The laughs, the last minute trips to the Lakes and the freezing cold days on a ridge.
‘We were the mountain men. John, you were one of a kind, a true gent. You will be sorely missed. My heart bleeds for your family. They and you will be forever in my prayers.’
Mrs McCann was also praised on social media for sharing her story, with Newcastle-based GP Dr Alison George saying: ‘That is absolutely heartbreaking Jenny.
‘I can only imagine the pain you must all feel right now. Those spreading and believing Covid disinformation need to know the cruel realities of what Covid can do. My thoughts are with you and your family.’
Mrs McCann replied: ‘Thanks Sara. Your lovely voice on the radio is a firm favourite/balm to our soul in our house, and don’t even get me started on Between the Covers. My brother would be over the moon to know that he has caught your eye.’
Mr Eyers took part in bodybuilding and had thought he would only have a ‘mild illness’ if he contracted coronavirus
Another Twitter user called Saurav said under Mrs McCann’s posts about her brother: ‘I can ratify this. I’m a marathoner and a power lifter, and I too had this belief that Covid can’t do anything to me.
‘The two days after I contracted were the worst days of my life. Luckily I immediately sought help, and we bought the symptoms under control by day four.’
Another Twitter user called Emma said: ‘As an A&E nurse this is something I am hearing a lot of lately. Unvaccinated younger adults ranging from 18-40 coming to hospital seriously unwell relying on oxygen therapy to help them survive. All with one thing in common. They all vow to take the vaccine once they recover.’
But among the condolences, Mrs McCann was targeted by anti-vaxxers. One refusenik said: ‘Sorry for your loss, but hard pass on getting the vax. Already had Covid so my antibodies work better… I’m sure there is an underlying condition he had that you are leaving out so you can push the vax.’
Another added: ‘Cute story. Not buying it. But I will tell you about my fully vaccinated coworker currently in ICU.’
And a third said: ‘She is been paid by the Government and NHS to say all this – do not listen, it’s fake.’
Source: Daily Mail UK