A self-proclaimed vaccine skeptic who said ‘if he could turn back time, he would’ after being hospitalized with Covid earlier this month has died from the virus at age 34.
Matthew Keenan told friends he “wished he had his shot” after being hospitalized at Bradford Royal Infirmary two weeks ago and placed in an artificial coma to save his life.
dr. Leanne Cheyne, a respiratory consultant at West Yorkshire Hospital, shared a photo of him wearing an oxygen mask and connected to a respirator as he fought for his life.
She urged others to “grab a shot,” writing, “Matthew has agreed to let me share his story. 34, footie coach and father. Self-confessed vaccine skeptic until he caught Covid. If he could turn back time, he would. Our sickest patients are unvaccinated and under 40. Matthew is fighting for his life…save yours.’
Mr Keenan, who has been described as the ‘life of the party’, shared a picture of his positive Covid lateral flow test on July 2. He said the symptoms made him feel like he had been “hit by a truck” after experiencing a fever and a “frozen and red hot” feeling.
The Liverpool fan added that the back pain made him feel ‘the worst I’ve ever been to and I have a feeling it’s getting worse’. He ended the post saying that he was “in pieces” and that “Covid is real.”
Tragically, it was confirmed on Monday that Keenan had died of the virus. In a touching tribute, his friend of more than 20 years Billy Brown said the world lost “the kindest man.”
Matthew Keenan told friends he ‘wished he had his shot’ after being admitted to the Bradford Royal Infirmary and placed in an artificial coma in an attempt to save his life just two weeks ago
Mr Keenan was a ‘devoted father, a wonderful friend and an unbeatable coach’
dr. Leanne Cheyne, a respiratory consultant at West Yorkshire Hospital, shared a photo of him wearing an oxygen mask and connected to a respirator as he fought for his life
In addition to falling national cases, the latest regional data from the government’s coronavirus dashboard appears to show a decline or flattening in every corner of England. Scientists still don’t know what caused the sharp fall, but suspect it could be several contributing factors
The 38-year-old added that “grown men haven’t stopped crying” since news of Matthew’s tragic death broke.
Mr Keenan was a “devoted father, a wonderful friend and an unbeatable coach,” said Mr Brown. He added: “As he got progressively worse, he said he wished he’d gotten the shot. I can’t believe he’s gone, he was the most likeable guy I’ve ever met.
“Most people have one or two best friends, he had twenty best friends. He had the biggest heart and treated everyone as if they were his family. There weren’t many like him. He loved to enjoy himself, he was the life and soul of every party. Many people will miss him.’
Mr Brown was left in tears after learning of his friend’s death this morning, as he clung to the hopes that he would still make it. He said that when he first contracted the virus, everyone believed that Mr. Keenan would get over it because he was a “fighter and a survivor.”
Mr Brown added: ‘We all thought it was Keenan, he would get over this. Then he fell into a coma and we were all praying for him. But we thought he was a fighter, a survivor.
Data from government dashboards shows that the number of Covid cases was highest among young adults and school-age children. But among the over-80s, they were much lower. It is not yet clear which age group is causing the drop in cases
“I’m a big strong boy, I’ve lost people before, but I’ve never cried as much as I did today as I did for anyone else.”
A Bradford Sunday Alliance Football League spokesperson said: ‘What a shock this morning when I woke up to the devastating news that Matthew Keenan has passed away. Such a great lad is gone too soon. Respected by everyone.
“My heart goes out to all his family at this sad time RIP big man and sleep well.”
Bradford’s Toller Football Club said: “Everyone at the club is saddened to hear of the death of Bradford legend Matthew Keenan. Tragic news to wake up to. The man was a gem. Always smiling and with heart and soul at Station FC on Sundays. Devastated for his partner and children.
‘Life is much too short. Don’t hold a grudge, it’s not expensive to be nice. Hold on to your family and loved ones while you can. RIP boy.’
And Bradford rap outfit Bad Boy Chiller Crew posted a photo of Matthew on Facebook with the message: “I can’t believe we’re writing this, but Bradford has lost an absolute legend.”
A spokesperson for The Speak in Club, a mental health support group, said: “Absolutely saddened to hear that my mate Matthew Keenan has passed away. Truly one of the nicest people you will ever meet and the life and soul of it all.
“He lit up everywhere he stepped. Fly high, my brother. You will never walk alone. Lean on each other in the coming days, the hardest days are yet to come. Grieving people need anchors, there are no magic tricks for grief. Be someone’s anchor if you can.’
THE MINIMUM RISKS OF COVID VACCINE
The COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them.
Most are mild and should not last more than a week.
They can be a sore arm from the injection, fatigue, headache, pain, and nausea or vomiting.
You may also develop a fever or feel hot or shivering 1 or 2 days after your vaccination. If symptoms get worse or if you are concerned, the NHS advises calling 111.
You can’t contract COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have it just before or after your vaccination.
Most people with allergies (including food or penicillin allergies) can be vaccinated against COVID-19, but you should tell healthcare staff before being vaccinated if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis). They may ask what you are allergic to to make sure you can get the vaccine.
Serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are very rare.
If you get a response, it usually happens within minutes. The personnel administering the vaccine are trained to detect and treat allergic reactions immediately.
If you have a severe allergic reaction to the 1st dose of a vaccine, you should not receive the same vaccine for your 2nd dose.
The MHRA is conducting a detailed review of reports of an extremely rare blood clotting problem in a small number of people who had received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
It is not yet clear why it affects some people.
The COVID-19 vaccine can help prevent you from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. For people 40 years of age or older and those with other health problems, the benefits of vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risk of clotting problems.
For people under 40 with no other health problems, it is preferable that you receive the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine rather than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Rare cases of heart inflammation have been reported following vaccination against COVID-19. Most people who had this recovered after rest and simple treatments.
It’s not yet clear if it was caused by the vaccines, but get urgent medical advice if you have any of these symptoms within a few days of being vaccinated:
- shortness of breath
- A fast beating, fluttering, or pounding heart (palpitations)