KEY POINTS

  • Gligor Kedioski, 45, died of COVID-19 on Jan. 2 after being hospitalized for around three weeks
  • Kedioski, originally from North Macedonia, refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 out of fear of developing health complications
  • His family and friends are now trying to expatriate his body to North Macedonia

A 45-year-old man in Merseyside, England who ignored his wife's plea to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has died due to the virus after being admitted to the hospital in December.

Gligor Kedioski, of Liverpool, died of COVID-19 on Jan. 2, the Liverpool Echo reported.

He spent around three weeks in the hospital and was placed in an induced coma before succumbing to the disease, the outlet said.

It was unclear how Kedioski, originally from the city of Prilep in North Macedonia, contracted the virus or if he had any pre-existing conditions.

Robert Karalioski, one of Kedioski's friends, claimed that the deceased man's wife, Bilyana, "tried everything to convince him to take the vaccine, but she couldn't persuade him."

"[Kedioski] was afraid of the vaccine, he wasn’t sure how it would work. He was afraid that he would get some kind of health complication from the vaccine," Karalioski explained.

Family and friends are now raising money through a GoFundMe campaign to repatriate Kedioski's body to "his beloved city of Prilep" as they believe it will provide "closure."

"Every day, [Kedioski’s] family back home are calling Bilyana to ask when everything will be finalized and when the body will arrive there. It’s been a nightmare for the whole family, they need closure," Karalioski, who organized the campaign, said.

"Everyone is trying to help. It is a really hard time, especially for his daughter. She’s always asking when her father is coming back from the hospital and that’s the most difficult part to answer," he added.

Kedioski's GoFundMe has raised £13,109 ($17,971) as of press time, exceeding its initial £5,500 ($7,540) goal.

Aside from wanting to ensure that Kedioski's body is returned to North Macedonia, Karalioski hoped that his friend's story could help raise awareness of the importance of vaccination against COVID-19.

Air and land travel to North Macedonia is open, but the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised would-be travelers to avoid the country due to its status of having "Very High" levels of COVID-19.

The United Kingdom has recorded a total of 14,956,864c coronavirus cases and 151,493 virus-related deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University.

North Macedonia, meanwhile, has 236,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 8,055 deaths.

vaccine-6165772_1920 Representation. Photo: Pixabay