Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Covid victim’s final words on his deathbed were ‘I wish I had got vaccinated’

Vaccines are ‘key’ to freedom says Stephen Barclay

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Glenn Barrett, 51, spent weeks in hospital battling coronavirus but passed away after he was put into an induced coma. His devastated friends and family say his chances of survival would have been much greater had he been vaccinated.

But despite having his spleen removed some years ago after a motorbike crash, Glenn declined the offer of jabs.

Before he went into the coma, he told nurses he wished he had taken the vaccine, Grimsby Live reports.

Ken Meech, Glenn’s heartbroken cousin, said: “Glenn had his worries and reasons for not having the jabs but he had no spleen and no immune system to help fight any infections but he did say to the nurses before going into an induced coma he wished he had.

“If he had, he would still be with us today.

“Being around my family and friends we believe his chances were much better if he had (taken the vaccines).

“This is one of the saddest times of my life, losing my cousin.”

To all my friends and family, be very cautious and protect yourselves because this virus ain’t going away

Ken Meech, Glenn Barrett’s cousin

Family say Glenn, from Grimsby, may have contracted Covid while watching England play Croatia in the Euro 2020 group game last month.

Glenn, described as a gentle giant and over 6ft 3in tall, had been with a group of mates at the Old Clee Club in Grimsby to watch the game.

It is understood around seven people tested positive soon after the match, including a man in his 20s who also ended up in intensive care with Glenn at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, in the town.

The Old Clee Club closed and underwent a deep clean but it is believed those affected had also mixed in other places.

Neither Glenn nor the other man had taken up the chance to be vaccinated but the other man is making a steady recovery.

Ken added: “Thankfully his friend is on the road to recovery and had no underlying issues but had two spells on the ward.

“I’m not a doom monger or someone who’s telling you what you should do or not do. After all, we are supposed to live in a free world.

“Glenn was very brave and fought to the end with Covid for three weeks and the strain on his heart was too much, eventually passing away at 8am last Tuesday July 13, 2021 with his mum by his side.”

The grief-stricken cousin continued: “We have one of the highest infection rates in the country and we’re coming out of lockdown. I have seen many many people huddled close together with no protection.

“My family are struggling to come to terms with what has happened and unless you witness the tragic side of this, no one seems to care. We can’t even visit him at the funeral home because it’s a sealed coffin.

“To all my friends and family, be very cautious and protect yourselves because this virus ain’t going away.”

Glenn’s mum Lynn said: “He was a larger than life character and always enjoyed his food. He was a very good cook himself.”

A spokesman for the Old Clee Sewell FC said: “Glenn was a top bloke. Everyone knew him and will treasure many memories of him. He was easy-going and easy to speak to.”

Glenn, a talented snooker player and big Grimsby FC fan, will be remembered as “a top bloke”.

A member of staff at The Old Clee Club on Clee Crescent said: “He was a very generous person. When he won a raffle prize he handed it straight back so more money could be raised.”

A spokesman for the club said: “There were about seven positive cases. They had all been out together and Glenn and the other lad often went out for meals.

“They walked a lot together and Glenn went along to the football training. They weren’t just all together here. They train together. The lads all mixed together.

“As soon as it was confirmed the chairman took the decision to close down within a couple of hours.”

The venue underwent a deep clean before re-opening earlier this month.

He is survived by parents Ray and Lynn, sister Inga and brothers Dale and Raymond. They have insisted that all mourners who attend the funeral maintain social distancing and wear face coverings, even though they are no longer mandatory at funerals or wakes.

A funeral will be held on Tuesday, July 27.

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