A Staffordshire musician who fell ill with Covid after rejecting the vaccine has now died, days after making a plea for others to not repeat his mistake.
Marcus Birks, 40, from Leek in Staffordshire, died on Friday morning, his family confirmed.
Mr Birks, who was a musician in the group Cappella alongside his wife Lis Birks, had previously said that he had changed his mind about the Covid vaccine and was going to tell his family to get the jab after falling ill.
Speaking to the BBC earlier in August from the intensive care unit at Royal Stoke University Hospital, he said: “If you haven’t been ill, you don’t think you’re going to get ill, so you listen to the [anti-vaccine] stuff. When you feel like you can’t get enough breath, it’s the scariest feeling in the world.”
He had not had the vaccine, saying he was “ignorant towards it and just put it off”. He added that information about the jab had been muddied by social media and conspiracy theorists. Speaking from hospital, he had said: “First thing I am going tell all my family to do is get the vaccine and anybody I see, and as soon as I can get it, I am definitely getting it.”
In a Facebook tribute to her late husband, Ms Birks said: “The pain I feel writing this is unbearable, my heart has been ripped out, my soul and world completely and utterly shattered.
“I made him a promise that I will tell our baby boy everyday how much he loves him, how special he is and how he would have been/is the best dad a son could ever wish for.”
Ms Birks described her husband as a “caring, loving, loyal, selfless, proud man”, saying “all he wanted to do was to help as many people as he could, that in itself showed what a pure heart and soul he had”.
The husband-and-wife pair had toured with band Cappella. Mr Birks also appeared on the first series of TV programme Bad Lads Army, in which he earned the Best Recruit award.