Grandad's vaccine video goes viral on TikTok - bringing in 130k views
- Credit: Gemma Davies
A great-grandad from Witham has become a hit on TikTok after a video of him leaving his house for the first time since March to get the vaccine was viewed more than 130,000 times.
Reg Davies, 84, had the coronavirus vaccine at Fern House GP surgery in Witham on Friday. His daughter and full-time carer Gemma recorded the trip and shared it on the social media platform.
The video, which has been viewed by thousands online, shows Mr Davies preparing to get the vaccine, as he excitedly shouts about seeing trees for the first time in almost a year.
After the vaccination, he tells viewers: "I'm home. I've had my jab and I'm safe at home. Everyone - be safe."
Mr Davies has been shielding and has not left his house since the pandemic began, as he is clinically vulnerable.
The retired marine window manufacturer was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005, and had to have one removed.
Miss Davies said there were many complications and they almost lost him, but thankfully he pulled through.
Since then he has been diagnosed with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and arthritis. He now uses a wheelchair.
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She said he has very bad days when he is quite unwell but he perseveres with everything and is a "real trooper".
His video has now generated more than 130,000 views and over 1,000 comments, with people calling him a "legend" and thanking him for his positive outlook during these difficult times.
Many people have even said he has inspired them to not be afraid of getting the vaccine.
Miss Davies, 32, said: "Dad is completely overwhelmed by it all, he still doesn't quite understand what viral means but I have been reading out all the positive comments to him.
"He is my best friend and he is just so cute. I think that's why it's gone so crazy - he is such a character."
Miss Davies chose to share the video on TikTok as she wanted to show other family members that he had received the vaccine safely.
"I did not expect this kind of reaction," she said. "I burst into tears as I watched the views keep on going up."
Mr Davies usually visits the local shop on his mobility scooter to get his newspaper. Before Covid, that was his only bit of independence.
He has now been cooped up at home for 10 months with his daughter, who only goes out once a week to get the food shop in the early hours of the morning.
Miss Davies said it has been very difficult as her dad is a big family man and loves hugs, so it has been lonely for the both of them.
She has been reading the comments posted on the TikTok video out to her father, who has been overjoyed by the positive reaction.
Miss Davies said she believes the success of the video is down to his reactions and personality, describing her dad as "so cute".
"It makes people realise why they stay at home," she said. "It's for people like my dad."
The pair will still have to shield until Mr Davies receives the second dose in 12 weeks' time.