‘Don’t make fun of it’: Illinois man fighting COVID-19 in hospital has message for New Year

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(WGN) — As an Illinois man fights for his life battling COVID-19, he has a message for people in the New Year.

Teki Vejseli, from the Rockford area, traveled to North Macedonia two weeks ago.

He was supposed to be back home with his family on the 27th to celebrate the New Year, but that changed once he contracted COVID-19.

“Don’t make fun of it, don’t downplay it,” he said. “I’m a pretty fit guy, I play soccer, I always ride the bike, I’m 35, I’ve never had any health conditions at all.”

Days after driving in North Macedonia to attend his grandfather’s funeral, his health started to deteriorate.

“I started getting like body aches, cold, shivers, then the next day after that I was hit with 106 fever temperature,” said Vejseli.

After being admitted to the hospital, Vejseli thought he wouldn’t make it.

“I was pretty much being taken into deep waters and drowning slowly, until my lungs collapsed,” he said.

Vejseli traveled there alone, leaving his wife and three kids at home in Rockford.

He’s determined to get out of the hospital, and hopes that 2021 can be a better year for everyone.

“We need to come together now more than ever before so we can defeat this pandemic that’s trying to defeat us,” he said.

Vejseli isn’t sure where he contracted the virus. He said he only traveled because he felt it was absolutely necessary.

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