William Shakespeare, or Bill from Coventry, died on Thursday last week after he suffered from a stroke. The sad news was announced by his widow, Joy, and Coventry councillor Jayne Innes. He was 81.
Innes said that he passed away in the hospital from an "underlying health condition" that "had worsened and he couldn't enjoy the full benefits of the jab he had felt so passionately about." She clarified that his passing had nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine as insinuated by some people on social media.
"I'm greatly saddened and upset that our dear friend, the very lovely Bill Shakespeare, has passed away," she said in a statement published by The Sun. Inness remembered that he was "very proud to be a Cov kid" and that the "best tribute to Bill is to have the jab."
Meanwhile, Joy said his "wonderful" husband will be missed because he "left a huge imprint on everyone who knew him." She said he "loved meeting people and helping them in any way possible."
Talking about him getting his COVID-19 vaccine jab, Joy recalled how her husband "was so grateful for being offered the opportunity to become one of the first people in the world" to get it. He enjoyed "seeing the media coverage and the positive difference he was able to make to the lives of so many." She said it was "something he was hugely proud of."
"He often talked to people about it and would always encourage everyone to get their vaccine whenever he could. Bill had the most wonderful care at the hospital. Absolutely wonderful. All of the staff were so caring, compassionate, and respectful and we couldn't be more grateful," she said.
In December last year, Shakespeare became the first man in the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. He got his jab at University Hospital Coventry in the U.K. shortly after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan. He was an in-patient at the hospital's frailty ward.
The moment was caught on TV and he even called the experience "groundbreaking." He also shared his hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will "make a difference to our lives from now on." He believed that it was "the start of changing our lives and our lifestyle."