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'Horrendous' Offaly man (24) urges others to get jab after spending 13 days in Covid-19 coma

The virus attacked Mr Brereton’s body, including his kidneys and lungs, and has left the sportsman, who used to run 6km a day, exhausted after just taking a shower.

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Cain Brereton when he was in intensive care

Cain Brereton when he was in intensive care

Recovery: Cain Brereton with his mother Anna after his life-saving treatment

Recovery: Cain Brereton with his mother Anna after his life-saving treatment

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Cain Brereton when he was in intensive care

A former footballer who moved to London for a new start “almost died” when he was put into an induced coma for 13 days after Covid-19 attacked his entire body, his family have revealed.

Cain Brereton (24), of Edenderry, Co Offaly, finally arrived home last week to be greeted by family and friends lining the road holding candles.

But more than a month after contracting Covid-19, the young fitness fanatic cannot walk far, has issues swallowing and is constantly tired.

The virus attacked Mr Brereton’s body, including his kidneys and lungs, and has left the sportsman, who used to run 6km a day, exhausted after just taking a shower.

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Recovery: Cain Brereton with his mother Anna after his life-saving treatment

Recovery: Cain Brereton with his mother Anna after his life-saving treatment

Recovery: Cain Brereton with his mother Anna after his life-saving treatment


In a written message, Cain said: “I would not wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.”

The former Edenderry Town FC goalkeeper – who moved to London last summer to train as an accountant – became critically ill last month.

He spent 21 days on a ventilator at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London – where British prime minister Boris Johnson was also treated for Covid last year – after three weeks in intensive care.

“I could write a book about the horrendous things I’ve seen while in ICU but the care I received was unbelievable,” he said.

“Nobody, including the top doctors, can understand why this happened to me – it just goes to show that age and health is irrelevant when it comes to this virus.”

Mr Brereton’s father, Adrian, said: “We couldn’t believe it. This was our 24-year-old son, he’s really fit, he’d just gone back to training and was running 6km a day.

His mother, Anna, travelled to London and had to wear a hazmat suit to see him.

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Adrian said: “It was really upsetting. We now realise the only reason the doctors let Anna in is because they believed Cain could die.”

The doctors said he was the youngest patient with no underlying conditions they had put in an induced coma.

Cain says unvaccinated people are “playing Russian roulette” when it comes to the Delta variant, and he hopes his story will persuade anyone with doubts about the vaccine to think again.

“I hope my story can encourage people to take the vaccine, as I believe two days with a sore arm is much better than three weeks on a ventilator,” he said.

Adrian said this son may still be suffering the after effects of the virus but he is making huge steps considering how ill he has been.

Cain was brought home to Ireland to give him the best chance of a quicker recovery, with round-the-clock care.

Although he hopes to be able to get back to his training in London, he is glad to be home and to see family and friends. “The reception I received was incredible,” he said.

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