Mom of Georgia man, 24, who refused vaccine then needed a lung transplant because of COVID begs people to get their shot

A screenshot from a video of Blake Bargatze, where he has a tube in his nose.
Blake Bargatze in a video still.

  • A man who refused a coronavirus vaccine was infected and needed a lung transplant, his mom said.
  • Blake Bargatze, 24, has been hospitalized since April, and got a double lung transplant in June.
  • His mom urged people to get vaccinated, saying “I just don’t want anyone else to go through this.”
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A man in Georgia needed a double lung transplant after refusing a coronavirus vaccine and then getting infected.

His suffering prompted his mother to urge others in his position to get vaccinated.

Blake Bargatze, 24, has been hospitalized since April, NBC News reported.

His mother, Cheryl Bargatze Nuclo, told NBC affiliate WXIA that he was hesitant to get vaccinated ahead of attending an indoor concert in Florida, where he was likely infected.

She said he wanted to wait much longer before getting a shot: “He wanted to wait until it was out for, like, 10 years or so, kind of like a lot of the population wants it to be out longer.”

Georgia and nearby southern states are among the least vaccinated in the US, per CDC data.

Her son got worse in hospital, and struggled to breathe to the extent that he required a double lung transplant. He got the transplant in June, NBC News reported, and took a COVID-19 vaccine days before his surgery.

WXIA broadcast videos of Bargatze hospitalized with tubes in his nose, and using a machine to be able to stand. At one point he seemed to mouth the words “get the vaccine.”

She said people should get the vaccine: “I just don’t want anyone else to go through this. It’s horrific. It’s not worth all the pain it’s going to cause you and your family.”

She said Bargatze’s brother and a cousin got the vaccine after seeing what happened to him.

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