A recent photo of a veteran struggling to breathe has further highlighted the sheer devastation COVID-19 can bring.

                                  Keep scrolling to see the harrowing picture for yourself...

                                  Now, we're all aware that 2020 has been nothing short of terrible.

                                  via: Getty

                                  COVID-19 took the entire planet hostage back in March, and things have been nothing short of diabolical ever since.

                                  Over 1 million people have tragically died from the virus as a result...

                                  via: Getty

                                  And even more alarmingly so, the United States of America is the worst affected country in the world - with more than 360,000 deaths alone.

                                  Of course, there's no denying how unprepared the entire world was for this pandemic...

                                  via: Getty

                                  And Donald Trump's eagerness to tone down the virus didn't at all go to plan.

                                  And even when the president tested positive for COVID himself in October...

                                  He continued to play it down and insist that we can simply "live with the virus."

                                  This was extremely alarming for many to hear from one of the most powerful leaders in the world...

                                  And it got us all wondering... What's the progress with the much-needed vaccine?

                                  Pharmaceutical organizations from all around the world have been working tirelessly to create a vaccine for months...

                                  via: Shutterstock

                                  But, to begin with, they didn't have much luck.

                                  However, some amazing news was brought to us a couple of weeks ago.

                                  The vaccine that American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, Pfizer, and German biotechnology company, BioNTech, have been working on for the last few months is?finally ready.

                                  The vaccine underwent its phase 3 study...

                                  Which has enrolled 44,000 people in the U.S and in 5 other countries.

                                  And as for the results?

                                  via: Getty

                                  Well, they were looking that good that some countries started distributing the COVID vaccine out to their citizens a few weeks ago.

                                  And over in the United Kingdom...

                                  via: Getty

                                  The first 800,000 doses of the vaccine have been getting steadily administered to eager patients from all across the country.

                                  Last week, photos showing the first patients receiving the vaccine were quick to go viral...

                                  And they instilled a new, much-needed sense of hope all across the world.

                                  Things are certainly looking up...

                                  via: Getty

                                  And, if this vaccine is as effective as its researchers and developers have insisted, we could be looking at a normal reality in mere months.

                                  However, people still continue to suffer.

                                  via: Getty

                                  Despite the good news regarding the vaccine, there are still countless stories of death and tragedy as a result of the virus.

                                  And this brings us back to the story of Michael Wright.

                                  Michael, from Newport, Minnesota, sadly lost his battle to COVID-19 last week.

                                  Michael was diagnosed with the virus early in November...

                                  The veteran had a history of chronic bronchitis which, of course, made him high risk, his family explained on a GoFundMe page.

                                  His condition quickly deteriorated...

                                  And he eventually developed pneumonia, which resulted in the gradual failure of his major organs.

                                  And, last week, he tragically lost his battle.

                                  "On December 8th, 2020 - the Lord carried Michael home to heaven," his family wrote. He leaves behind his wife, children, grandchildren, and his mother.

                                  But Michael has left behind a unique legacy.

                                  Shortly before his death, the Star Tribune published a harrowing photograph of him in the hospital as he struggled to breathe.

                                  Since his death, the photograph has been doing the rounds online...

                                  With people being left "haunted" by what they saw.

                                  It's needless to say that Michael's photograph has left a mark...

                                  With many saying it stands as a prime example of the horrors this virus brings with it.

                                  The photographer who took the image, Leila Navidi, tweeted:

                                  via: Shutterstock

                                  "For those who remember my photo of Michael Wright struggling to breathe in the ICU last month, an update: He tragically lost his battle with COVID earlier this week. I hope that Michael's photo saved lives."

                                  Here's the photo in question.

                                  It shows Michael laying on his stomach - the prime position for improving lung capacity - with a breathing tube and a pained look on his face.

                                  Rest in peace, Michael Wright.

                                  Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time. For more on the devastating pandemic, keep scrolling...

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