PLAINVILLE (CBS) – A Plainville firefighter and EMT, whose life’s work is helping others, is now the one in need. Brett Bertram is so sick fighting COVID-19.

“His oxygen levels had been in the 80s. I was like you need to go to the ER,” his mother Stacy Bertram recalled. “Within two hours of him being at the Brigham the decision was made that he needed to be intubated and placed into a medically induced coma.”

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As a first responder, Brett could have received the vaccine early. He didn’t feel right about it. Now this twist of fate is reminder to everyone to protect yourself, and others, as soon as you can.

“His grandmother was still waiting and other people he knew who were more compromised, he figured I’m young, I don’t have any health issues, I’d rather it go to someone who really needs it,” Stacy explained.

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The family has no idea when he might come off the ventilator, or whether there’s lasting damage to his swollen lungs.

“I just told him I loved him and he’s doing a great job and to keep fighting. I need you to wake up,” she said.

The family is overwhelmed by generosity from friends and strangers on a GoFundMe page. The community eager to support a man who goes to work to serve them.

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“It makes this difficult time a little easier to know all these people are rallying around him and us. There’s just no words to say thank you so much,” Stacy said.

Juli McDonald