THE FAMILY of a critically ill man who was convinced to leave hospital by Covid deniers have condemned those involved in removing him.
Joe McCarron was taken from Letterkenny University Hospital last week by Covid deniers who claimed he would 'die' if he stayed in hospital.
A video of the incident, shared widely across Ireland and beyond, showed a visibly ill Mr McCarron, who was struggling to breathe, be encouraged by a man to leave the hospital and go home.
A doctor at the hospital told Mr McCarron that the man trying to convince him to leave the hospital was putting his life at risk, and said if he left the hospital to go home he would die.
The unidentified doctor told him "I don't think what he is saying is right at all. You are barely able to breathe there now. We want you to stay to help you."
The man recording the incident, who was trying to convince the ill man to leave with him, said it would be better to die at home than in the hospital.
He claimed he was "rescuing" him, and told Mr McCarron "If you stay here they are going to f***ing kill you."
Mr McCarron did leave the hospital, but was rushed back soon afterwards in a critical condition and is currently on a ventilator, though he is said to be doing well.
According to Donegal Daily, a spokesperson for Mr McCarron's family confirmed the Donegal man is in the Intensive Care Unit "under the care and attention of the excellent staff at Letterkenny University Hospital".
"Joe is in a critical but stable condition. he has serious lung damage from Covid 19 and is on a ventilator, but the signs are good.
"Una (Mr McCarron's wife) 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."
The spokesperson went on to thank everyone who had sent prayers and messages of support in recent days.