As an Illinois man fights for his life battling COVID-19, he has a message for people in the New Year.

Teki Vejseli, from the Rockford area, traveled to North Macedonia two weeks ago.

He was supposed to be back home with his family on the 27th to celebrate the New Year, but that changed once he contracted COVID-19.

“Don’t make fun of it, don’t downplay it,” he said. “I’m a pretty fit guy, I play soccer, I always ride the bike, I’m 35, I’ve never had any health conditions at all.”

Days after driving in North Macedonia to attend his grandfather’s funeral, his health started to deteriorate.

“I started getting like body aches, cold, shivers, then the next day after that I was hit with

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