‘I should have gotten the damn vaccine’: Las Vegas father of 5 dies after contracting COVID during SoCal vacation

Nation/world
Michael Freedy is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Michael Freedy is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

A Las Vegas father of five who died after contracting COVID-19 expressed regret over not getting vaccinated against the virus before his death, his fiancée said.

Michael Freedy, 39, became infected during a family vacation to San Diego earlier this month, Jessica DuPreez told KTLA sister station KLAS in Las Vegas.

When they returned home after spending a couple days in the Southern California city, Freedy developed a painful skin rash, according to DuPreez. Based on his symptoms — he was getting chills and couldn’t sleep, eat or get comfortable — they thought it was a case of sun poisoning.

Freedy went to a hospital where he tested positive for the coronavirus. He was sent home to isolate, DuPreez recounted on a GoFundMe account.

Later, she wrote, Freedy woke her up in the middle of the night, complaining that he couldn’t breathe and felt dizzy. They went to the hospital and he was admitted.

Scans showed that Freedy had developed pneumonia in both lungs and he was placed on two oxygen machines.

“Oh my [expletive] God. This is terrible,” Freedy wrote in a text message to DuPreez from the hospital, according to KLAS. He sent her another one that read, “I should have gotten the damn vaccine.”

Freedy died on Thursday.

“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,” DuPreez wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Though he was unvaccinated, DuPreez told the station that they both planned to get the COVID-19 shot eventually.

“We were just holding off and now to think that if we just had gotten the shot a week before or a month before when one of our jobs had a vaccination thing, he could still be here,” she said.

The couple had five children between them, the youngest 17 months old and the oldest 17 years old, Las Vegas TV station KVVU reported.

“He is only 39. Our babies now don’t have a dad. You can’t say I am young and it won’t affect me because it will,” she told KVVU.

DuPreez said that she and the 17-year-old — the only one currently eligible to receive the vaccine — got their first dose when Freedy was admitted to the hospital.

The online fundraiser DuPreez started to help her family financially has received more than $23,000 in donations as of Friday afternoon.

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