Paul Te Hiko encourages people to get vaccinated after losing brothers to Covid-19

By Jessica Tyson

Paul Te Hiko lost two of his brothers to Covid-19 in 2020 and has shared the experience to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Last August, Paul and his brothers Alan and Nigel were taken to hospital after contracting Covid-19.

On September 4, 2020, Alan passed away of Covid-19 and then a week later Nigel passed away from the disease, says Paul.

“When I found out that Alan had passed away I could hear his daughter, his son, his grandchildren crying and there was no way I could get out to them. We weren’t allowed to move and even if I could I don’t think I would have made it because I was running out of breath,” Paul said in a video posted on YouTube earlier this week.

When Nigel passed away Paul watched over Zoom.

“They turned his machine off. We had a Zoom conference and he passed away. It’s the hardest thing I could ever think of.”

Paul was in hospital for six weeks and ended up in ICU.

“I was on 24-hour watch because my blood pressure kept dropping. I couldn’t breathe properly. I couldn’t walk to the toilet. I couldn’t take five steps without resting. That’s what Covid does.”

Tributes flow for Alan Te Hiko

Paul, who currently works for Ryans Transport in Auckland, is urging people to get vaccinated to avoid going through what he did.

“If you want to get vaccinated, get vaccinated. It’s up to you what you do but if you want to go through what I went through and catch it, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, says Paul.

“If this can hit someone out there or in your group stay safe, please get vaccinated. It’s for your future, your children’s future, your friend’s future. So if anything I could say that could help change you.”

Nigel Te Hiko - iwi leader, father figure with loving heart dies of Covid-19