PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WPRI) — A young Plainville EMT and firefighter hopes people take the pandemic seriously and get vaccinated when they can after he contracted COVID-19 himself.
Brett Bertram was being treated for the virus at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for weeks.
The 23-year-old said he almost died and was thrilled to see his friends, family, and coworkers again, who were rallying for him as Plainville Fire Department sirens blared down the street.
“After coming home and seeing all the people, it was a little overwhelming,” Bertram said. “Open arms and a lot of love.”
He had previously opted not to get a COVID-19 vaccine early as a first responder because he didn’t want to take one away from someone who was sick or elderly.
“When you make the choice to be an EMT or firefighter you make the choice to put someone else’s life before yours,” Bertram said.
Bertram had to be intubated for the last two weeks, and at times was in a medically induced coma. He says the experience was eye-opening and wants people to know the virus continues to be a reality.
“People should take it seriously. I almost died,” he said. “Now that I’m out of the hospital I’m definitely going to take my chance to get my vaccine.”
A GoFundMe page set up for Bertram’s recovery also raised more than $20,000 in three weeks.