THIS is the “miraculous” moment one of the UK’s longest-fighting coronavirus patients walked for the first time since last MARCH.
Jason Kelk, 49, has been bravely battling the effects of “long Covid” after the virus ravaged his lungs and kidneys and left him unable to walk on his own.
Jason bravely takes his first steps since falling ill last MarchCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
The IT worker is battling ‘long Covid’ and is being treated in an ICU ward in LeedsCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
His wife Sue Kelk, 63, said she felt like she was “10 foot tall” and was so proud of him when he walked for the first time on Wednesday since being admitted to hospital in March last year.
In the emotional video, Jason can be seen taking his first tentative steps along the intensive care ward, flanked by some of the hospital staff who have been supporting him.
He was admitted to St James’ Hospital in Leeds on March 31 just a day after TV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper – who was revealed last year to be the country’s longest-fighting Covid patient.
Sue said doctors are completely baffled as to why he has been unable to recover and why he hasn’t been able to walk for nearly a year.
I’m so proud of him, it really is miraculous to see.
Jason’s wife Sue
However, the 49-year-old, who works in IT at a school, does have certain risk factors for severe Covid as a type-two diabetic with mild asthma.
His wife said she felt immensely proud of him after the “miraculous moment”.
Sue, from Seacroft, in Leeds, said: “I felt 10 foot tall. I’m so proud of him, it really is miraculous to see.
“He’s managed to walk on the spot before and had taken a few steps but this was the first time he’s walked like this. It was quite a long way – about six to 10 metres I think they said.
Jason with wife Sue, left, and his daughter Claire, rightCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
“It was a fantastic moment, I was absolutely buzzed.”
Last year, Jason became breathless after struggling with a continuous cough and was then admitted to the ICU in early April when his condition began to deteriorate.
Sue said over the past four weeks, he has managed to spend increasing periods of time off his ventilator and his previously 24-hour kidney filter has been reduced.
Hospital staff have also managed to take Jason outside for fresh air – and to see Sue – three times over the past three weeks.
LONG COVID BATTLE
Sue, who has been with Jason for 20 years, said: “It’s amazing because before that, I’d not seen him outside since May last year.
“It’s been brilliant because you are not encumbered by masks or gloves. It was just Jason and me and whoever else I take with me.
“And we just chat and sit there holding hands and stuff, and sneak a little kiss. It’s just been so lovely to see him.”
But she is careful not to get her hopes up long-term as Jason’s recovery from Covid has been far from stable.
The 49-year-old has type-two diabetes and asthmaCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Earlier this week, he was placed back on the ventilator during the day due to low oxygen levels.
Sue said: “So many times he’s got, not quite as far as this but managed periods like this.
“And I get excited and they [hospital staff] get excited. But at the back of my mind I know I’ve been here before. Every blip is different – it always depends what’s happened.”
Despite being unable to speak, due to the tracheostomy for his ventilator, he can “make himself understood” by mouthing words.
She said: “He’s been absolutely fine, laughing and joking. He’s really learned to pronounce words. He will say the words, there’s just no sound. And he still has his sense of humour.”
But for the time being, she said there is no chance of him moving off intensive care while he needs overnight ventilation and the kidney filter.
Sue said: “When I talk about him coming home, he gets really excited. He’s been doing so well. I just don’t know what to think.
“It’s so hard because I have had my hopes built up so many times before.”