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Pensioner released from hospital by anti-vaxxers despite doctors’ pleas has died

Joe McCarron checked himself out of the Letterkenny University Hospital in County Donegal having been encouraged to do so by anti-vaxx group the Freedom on the Land Movement

Joe McCarron left the hospital against medical advice

A man who was encouraged to leave hospital by anti-vaccination campaigners has died of Covid-19.

Joe McCarron was filmed leaving Letterkenny University Hospital on Tuesday last week while doctors pleaded with him to stay.

The 75-year-old had been in intensive care receiving treatment after contracting the coronavirus, the Irish Mirror reported.

He died on Saturday morning after returning to the hospital two days ago.

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Mr McCarron died in hospital this morning

The case shot into the international spotlight after a video of his exit was published online.

It even received criticism from Micheál Martin, the Republic’s Taoiseach.

“If you get it (Covid-19), you should treat it as very serious,” he said.

“Certainly, it is outrageous that anyone would, in an ill-informed way, be advising people to leave hospital. It endangers that person’s health.”

The protestors had claimed that Mr McCarron was being forced into the ICU at the County Donegal hospital.

The protestors, including an Italian national Antonio Mureddu Gravegliu of the so-called Freedom on the Land Movement, filmed Mr McCarron’s release from the hospital.

In the video which was put up on social media, doctors are heard pleading with Mr McCarron to remain in hospital.

However, the protestors tell Mr McCarron that he will die if he remains in the hospital.

Mr McCarron was released but was rushed back into hospital two days later on Thursday last after having severe breathing difficulties.

He was initially put on a ventilator and had been showing signs of improving.

But his condition deteriorated and he died earlier today.

Mr McCarron’s family had slammed those who helped take him out of the hospital while he was in such a vulnerable condition.

A family spokesman said Joe’s wife Una wanted to apologise to the hospital staff for what had happened.

He also criticised those who helped remove Joe from hospital as “reckless.”

The spokesman said: “Una would like to thank the staff and apologise for the actions of Joe’s so-called reckless friends earlier in the week.

“They did not help Joe’s recovery in any way. We would encourage everyone to follow proper medical advice.”

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