Groom, 30, almost misses wedding due to Covid battle after ‘not prioritising vaccine’

Neil Matthews, who is due to get married this Sunday, tested positive for the virus two days after coming back from Ibiza in July and spent six days in hospital

Neil Matthews, 30, who nearly died from Covid weeks before wedding tells of his horror battle with the virus

A man has issued a warning to others to get their vaccine after he almost missed his wedding because he was battling the virus in intensive care.

Neil Matthews, who is due to get married this Sunday, didn’t make getting his jab a “priority” and tested positive for coronavirus two days after coming back from Ibiza in July.

The fit and healthy 30-year-old then started suffering from breathing difficulties and went into the hospital, before deteriorating further when he got home.

Speaking to the Daily Record, he said: “I tested positive and from there I just plummeted. At first, it was just a temperature and sore heads, it wasn’t my breathing.

Neil and fiancee Rachael Kennedy are still going ahead with their wedding this weekend


Daily Record WS)

“Then my breathing started to get really bad so I went up to the hospital and they were wanting to keep me in but my Mrs had just tested positive and I didn’t want to leave her alone.

“I lay about unwell all weekend and on Monday I completely crashed and was back in the hospital.”

Neil’s oxygen levels dropped dangerously low and he was rushed to intensive care at Royal Alexandra Hospital.

He was there for six days as doctors battled to keep him alive.

Neil added: “My oxygen levels dropped with only 20 per cent of my lungs functioning and I ended up in intensive care for six days and nearly passed away and spent another five in the high dependency unity.

“I was out the game most of the time but they were speaking about putting me in an induced coma and I begged them not to.”

Neil, who has no underlying health conditions, realised he was the youngest in the ICU “by about 30 years”.

The groom, who runs his own business Bespoke Solutions, has lost one-and-a-half-stone while in hospital.

He is now urging everyone to get their vaccine.

Neil isn’t against the vaccine but he did not prioritise getting it


Daily Record WS)

Neil said he was at least 30 years younger than other patients battling Covid on the ward with him


Daily Record WS)

He said: “I don’t smoke and I’m only a sociable drinker, I have a physical job and doctors confirmed I have no underlying health conditions.”

He added: “I wasn’t against the vaccines but we’ve just moved into my mother-in-law’s after buying a house and were planning the wedding.

“I didn’t prioritise it between running my business, refurbishing a house and our wedding and because the vaccine letter probably went to my old address, it wasn’t in front of me and I didn’t get it booked in.

“Unfortunately, I just put others things before it. I did plan to get it. It was very naïve of me.”

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Neil’s two friends who went on holiday with him also tested positive for the virus – but one already had one vaccine dose and did not become seriously ill.

In a warning to people, Neil said: “I don’t want to force anyone to take the vaccine but if this ever comes chapping on your door you’re going to be full of regrets if you don’t listen to the right people.”

He said several friends have been in contact to say that they have got the vaccine since he shared his frightening experience.

He continued: “There were people in the hospital in their sixties who had Covid but had the vaccines but could get up and walk about, I couldn’t even go to the toilet.

“It showed by the vaccines has got to help and everyone should get it.

“If you don’t want to get it that’s your choice but don’t listen to conspiracy theorists because it’s the experts that are going to save your life, not the people sitting on social media.”

Neil and his fiancée Rachael Kennedy, 29, are going ahead with their wedding this Sunday and say it will be “even more special” after recent weeks.

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