A vegan who refused a COVID jab in a stand against animal testing has died from the virus.
Glynn Steel, 54, died on 16 November after a two-week battle in intensive care, during which he is said to have begged nurses for a vaccination.
According to his wife Emma, his last words were: "I have never felt so ill, I wish I'd had the vaccine."
She is now calling on people to take up the vaccine, saying she has been left facing "an empty future alone".
News of his death comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to get jabbed so the country is in a strong position for Christmas amid growing fears over the new Omicron variant.
Steel's widow said her husband, who was two months away from his 55th birthday, when he planned to retire and spend more time travelling and looking after animals, had refused the vaccine after reading it had been tested on animals.
The 50-year-old, who is double-jabbed, said: "I insist to everyone I know to get the vaccine.
"The last thing Glynn said to me was ‘I have never felt so ill, I wish that I had had the vaccine’. It was heart wrenching.
"He begged for the vaccine when he was in intensive care before he went on life support but they said that it was too late.
"He was a very gentle soul, he was a vegan and didn't want the Covid vaccine because it was tested on animals."
Steel, from Malvern, Worcestershire, tested positive for coronavirus on 27 October after symptoms of a cold gradually got worse.
His condition deterioriated rapidly, prompting his wife to call an ambulance on 2 November.
But with none available, she took her unconscious husband to Worcestershire Royal Hospital where she said there were 12 ambulances queuing outside when she arrived.
He was admitted to intensive care but by 10 November was put life support and in an induced coma. He died within 20 minutes of his life support being turned off, she said.
"I was with him when he died. I was wearing a full PPE kit so I couldn't touch him, but they played his favourite music by the Sex Pistols and I stayed with him until the end."
Steel's niece Charlotte Steel has launched a GoFundMe page with the aim of raising money for the funeral: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-glynns-funeral.
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