A group of anti-vaccine advocates "rescued" a Donegal man suffering from severe COVID-19 symptoms from hospital only for him to be readmitted in a serious condition.
Anti-vaxxers encouraged the man to leave Letterkenny Hospital despite warnings from staff at the hospital that it would worsen his condition.
The incident was the subject of a viral video, with one man stating that the group was "rescuing" the patient. The man additionally told the patient that treatment in the hospital would "kill him".
Hospital staff attempted to intervene as the group led the man from the hospital and told the patient that he would be "endangering" his life by leaving.
"It’s a very difficult disease that you have, and I’m not lying to you, you could die, but this could be your best chance in the hospital," one member of staff told the patient in the viral video.
An anti-vaccine advocate responded by stating that it's "better he die in the house than he dies here".
The patient agreed to leave the hospital despite appearing to suffer from breathing difficulties in the video.
Hard to watch.
Grim moment for @ucddublin @UCDMedicine by Dolores Cahill
A covid patient is removed from the hospital by anti-vaxxer, citing phrases;
Common court law
Putting those at the hospital on notice
Dolores has her grubby hands in this, I hold her just as responsible. pic.twitter.com/5byv1rsyVr— Ally Mc Culladgh 🇮🇪 🇲🇲 (@culladgh) September 14, 2021
He later said that he felt much better in a social media video on Wednesday evening and accused staff at Letterkenny Hospital of mistreating him.
However, he was readmitted to the hospital early on Thursday morning after reporting severe breathing difficulties.
He remains in an "extremely serious condition" and has been placed on a ventilator, according to the Irish Times.
Saolta Hospital Group, which oversees Letterkenny Hospital, told the Irish Times that it is "gravely concerned" by a recent rise of disinformation campaigns about COVID-19 at Irish hospitals.
"The deliberate spreading of disinformation and at times defamatory comments against named staff members along with the posting of these videos on social media platforms is adding significantly to the burden already facing healthcare professionals," a Saolta spokeswoman said.