24-Year-Old Unvaccinated Father Dies of COVID: 'Would Not Wish This on My Worst Enemy'

patrick burshia

Patrick Burshia

A 24-year-old father who regretted not getting vaccinated died of COVID-19, and being hospitalized caused him to say that he “would not wish this on my worst enemy.”

Patrick Burshia, from Montana, opted against getting vaccinated based on what he was reading online and hearing from friends, “that the vaccine was not a real vaccine, that it was like a tracking chip that the government was trying to use on us,” he told NBC News.

“I, much like a lot of people in my age group, didn't really have a whole lot of proper information. I was hearing a lot of propaganda, saying like, COVID is a conspiracy theory, it's not real.”

RELATED: Idaho Nurse Who Fell into Vaccine 'Misinformation' Dies of COVID, Leaving Behind 10-Year-Old Twins

But after contracting COVID-19, Burshia struggled to breathe and had to be hospitalized. He realized that what he had heard was “just a whole bunch of crap that isn't true. This is very real, it's very scary.”

Speaking with NBC News from his hospital room at Billings Clinic on Sept. 1, Burshia said he “100%” regrets not getting vaccinated.”

“As soon as I can, I'm getting the vaccine,” he said. “And I highly recommend anyone who hasn't to do it, because this is a very scary situation.”

RELATED VIDEO: Unvaccinated TikToker Who Died of COVID Spent Last Days Urging Followers to Get the Vaccine

But in mid-September, Burshia's condition worsened, and he was placed on a ventilator.

“Every time we moved him, we weren't sure if the end was going to be in that moment, and so I just wanted to be there to hold his hand,” one of his nurses, Chrissy Baxter, told the outlet.

And the weekend of Sept. 18, Burshia died from COVID-19, leaving behind his young son. He was a week away from turning 25.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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