Las Vegas casino worker and father of 5 dies from COVID-19, texts fiancée: 'I should have gotten the damn vaccine'
- Michael Freedy, a
Las Vegascasino worker and father of 5, died from COVID-19 on Thursday.
- From the hospital, he texted his fiancée: "I should have gotten the damn
- Three in ten unvaccinated adults say they want to "wait and see" the vaccine's long-term effects.
Michael Freedy, known as "Big Mike" by coworkers and friends, died of complications from
"We wanted to wait just one year from the release to see what effects people had, but there was never any intention to not get it," DuPreez told Las Vegas' Fox affiliate.
DuPreez is not alone. About 40% of people over the age of 18 in the US have not been vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number one reason adults cite for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine is wanting to "wait and see" if the vaccine has any long-term side effects before receiving the shot, according to KFF's COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.
"I am not aware of any vaccine where the first set of negative effects show up past eight weeks after immunization," Dr. Ashish K. Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, wrote on the school's website. "The biology of how vaccines work suggests that it would not make sense for a new side effect to show up five years later."
Doctors are flagging the very real dangers of vaccine hesitancy, with one Arkansas doctor delivering an emotional plea that described the "regret and remorse" on the faces of patients dying with COVID-19, Insider's Mia Jankowicz reported.
"I have had to call multiple fathers and mothers of preschoolers - in their 20s and 30s - and tell them that their spouse may very well not survive this hospitalization," he said.
Freedy began feeling unwell following a trip to the beach; they thought he had come down with sun poisoning. After testing positive for COVID-19, he was admitted to the ICU with double pneumonia and placed on a ventilator.
"His numbers crashed and they were not able to bring them back up," DuPreez wrote on the family's GoFundMe page. "The love of my life, my rock, my everything. The father to my babies is no longer with us. I don't know what to do."
Freedy worked at The M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas. On Wednesday, MGM Resorts, one of the largest players in the casino industry, urged employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible, Eater Las Vegas reported.
"In addition to the heart-wrenching thought of more illness and death, I fear that progressively more restrictive measures ... could be around the corner if we continue on this path," President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday. "This would be a significant blow to our community, industry, and economy."
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