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Hairstylist Kristin Ess Says Brother with COVID Was Put on Ventilator the Day His Son Was Born

·3 min read
kristin ess
kristin ess

kristin ess/ instagram Kristin Ess

Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess is urging people to get vaccinated after sharing that her younger brother is now on a ventilator with COVID-19.

Ess, 41, posted "an update" on her brother, who was intubated on the same day that his wife gave birth to their first child.

"Nick is still in critical condition and still on a ventilator," she wrote in her Instagram Stories on Sunday. "Many things are looking better, but the single most important thing is his oxygen, and that's not improving right now. I've been told by my friends who work in various ICUs 'it's a dance' — one day it's a little better, next day it's not so good. We need his lungs to get stronger so he can keep his oxygen levels where they need to be."

The haircare founder said that to be "really honest, we need a miracle."

"Nick is important to SO many people. But there are two people who desperately need him… his wife and his first baby who happened to be born the morning Nick was intubated," she wrote. "His little boy currently sits one floor above him in the NICU. He was only able to see him once for a few minutes on FaceTime."

kristin ess
kristin ess

kristin ess/ instagram Kristin Ess

Ess begged people to "please get vaccinated if you're able."

"You guys… don't let this happen to you … I'm fully aware that some people are just never going to get vaccinated," she said. "But for those of you on the fence, please hear me loud and clear… YOU NEVER WANT THIS!!"

"Nick is a healthy 32-year-old man. I assure you, this is happening to real people just like you and me. People who have so much life to live," she continued. "To watch my little brother, a very capable man who never asks for help from anyone, gasping for air while I hold his hand, smile with my eyes and tell him he is going to be okay while holding back the biggest tears and screams of my life… I don't wish that on anyone."

"Delta will take you. it does not discriminate and does not care whether you live in a young, healthy body or not."

kristin ess
kristin ess

kristin ess/ instagram Kristin Ess

Ess later reshared responses from three followers who said that her posts pushed either them or their spouse to get vaccinated.

"No matter how this pans out, I have to believe Nick's story is not for nothing," Ess said in response to one.

RELATED VIDEO: Unvaccinated TikToker Who Died of COVID Spent Last Days Urging Followers to Get the Vaccine

She also shared a screenshot of her phone screen and said that "each day I try to call Nick … I talk to him about the day as if it were any other day."

"After I talk to him I sit here and listen to the machines that are keeping him alive. This is as close as I can get to him right now. It's unimaginably painful."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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