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Family hits out after young Northland man's death gets hijacked by anti-vaccine 'keyboard warriors'

Newshub logo Newshub 28/10/2021 Mike Kilpatrick
Watch: Chris Hipkins gives Thursday's COVID-19 update. © Video - Newshub; Image - Givealittle Watch: Chris Hipkins gives Thursday's COVID-19 update.

The family of an unvaccinated Northland man have been forced to speak out after rumours he died from taking the Pfizer vaccine transformed him into an anti-vaccine poster boy.

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Liam Ranby, 21, died of a brain aneurysm and cardiac arrest earlier this month just hours after talking to his mum about whether he should get the jab or not.

He had been living in Whangārei and working on a berry and kiwifruit farm prior to his collapse at a gym.

His mum confirmed he hadn't received the Comirnaty jab, but that hasn't stopped "keyboard warriors" insinuating his death was related to it.

It got so bad that Liam's father had to speak about the lies during a eulogy for his son.

"People have been messaging me telling me that I'm lying, that it's my duty to tell the public the truth," Tania Ranby told the New Zealand Herald.

"I'm not vaccinated, I'm pro-choice. I've heard both sides and it upsets me, people pushing the vaccine onto others. But it makes me sick that people are using my son to push their ideas through."

She said people, including strangers, had messaged her while her son was on life support, so much so she had started to doubt herself whether he had been vaccinated.

Ranby even checked Liam's medical notes to confirm he hadn't been and, while she says she understands people are concerned, she wouldn't lie about such a thing if it were true.

"I would be getting out there kicking up a huge stink," she said.

A givealittle fundraiser to support the family pay for funeral expenses and have time off work to grieve raised nearly $14,000.

Liam was a cardiac twin, meaning his heart pumped blood for both himself and his brother Luke in the womb. Tragically, Luke died at birth.

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