Covid: Bradford's Matthew Keenan dies despite changing mind on jabs

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image source, Leanne Cheyne/Twitter
image captionMatthew Keenan told doctors he wished he could turn back time and get vaccinated

A "self-confessed vaccine sceptic" has died in hospital just two weeks after a doctor shared his picture to urge others to get the Covid jab.

Matthew Keenan, from Bradford, died a fortnight after allowing Leanne Cheyne to post the image of him hooked up to an oxygen mask.

Dr Cheyne, a respiratory consultant, said the 34-year-old dad had told her he wished he "could turn back time".

Tributes paid to Mr Keenan described him as "a top bloke" and "a real gem".

Posting the image on Twitter on 11 July, Dr Cheyne wrote: "Matthew, has agreed for me to share his story. 34, footie coach & dad. Self-confessed vaccine sceptic until he caught Covid, if he could turn back time he would. Our sickest patients are unvaccinated & under 40. Matthew is fighting for his life... save yours."

She explained that Mr Keenan, who wrote on his own Facebook page on 2 July that he had just tested positive for Covid, was connected to a CPAP machine which was delivering oxygen to him.

Dr Cheyne, who works at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, said Mr Keenan's treatment was one step below being on the intensive care unit.

She told the BBC Mr Keenan hoped her sharing his story would encourage others to get vaccinated.

In Bradford, 72% of adults have had their first vaccine dose and 57% have had a second dose as of 25 July.

image source, Facebook/Bad Boy Chiller Crew
image captionBradford rap group Bad Boy Chiller Crew paid tribute to Liverpool fan Mr Keenan

Tributes were paid to the well-known local football coach following the news of his death being reported at the weekend.

A spokesman for the Bradford Sunday Alliance Football League said: "Matthew was absolutely a top bloke, a gent, a true legend and always had time for everyone even if he didn't know them and always put a smile on everyone's face. He loved his football and dreamed of winning the Premier League and he achieved [this] with the Station boys."

Fellow football league member Akif Khan, of Toller FC, said Mr Keenan was "a real gem" who "always tried his best for everyone".

On Facebook, mental health support group the Speak In Club wrote: "Absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of my mate Matthew Keenan. Genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet and the life and soul of everything. He lit up everywhere he stepped. Fly high my brother. You Will Never walk Alone."

Bradford rap group Bad Boy Chiller Crew also paid tribute, writing: "Can't believe we're writing this but Bradford has lost a absolute legend. RIP, you will always be remembered in all of our hearts until we meet again."

An online fundraiser has been started to help Mr Keenan's family and collections will be held at local amateur football games.

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