Jason Kelk and his wife, Sue, were forced apart for months – Image: Sue Kelk / SWNS.COM

Mirror Online: LONDON, England – Britain’s longest-suffering COVID patient is still battling the bug which has nearly destroyed his lungs and left him vomiting every day.

Jason Kelk, 49, has recently regained his ability to walk and made his first journey down the hospital ward he’s been on since April 1 last year.

Despite making impressive strides in the past couple of months, he’s still receiving intensive treatment.

After falling ill around Christmas 2019, he developed a chest infection. As he began to make a recovery, his symptoms then suddenly began to worsen.

At the time, the country, nor the rest of the world, had much knowledge or information about coronavirus, reports Leeds Live.

But Jason, from Leeds, began to display several troubling symptoms. After a few days, he was transported to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance.

He tested positive for coronavirus and was put in the Intensive Care Unit on April 3, 2020, before being put on a ventilator the following day.

More than 12 months since that day, he remains on the Intensive Care Unit at the same hospital.

Jason is now thought to be one of the nation’s longest suffering COCID-19 patients, with only a handful of individuals in a similar situation as him who remain in hospital.

One of those was Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper who was recently released from hospital and allowed to return home

After months apart from each other with minimal contact, his wife Sue is thrilled to say that he’s recovering with similar success.

The incredible moment Jason took his first steps after months incapacitated by the bug was caught on camera – Image: Sue Kelk / SWNS

Sue said: “For a very long time, I was always told that it would be a question of if, not when, Jason would return home.

“Now, it’s really looking like him coming home with me is a real possibility – we’re saying when and not if!”

This past month, Jason was taken off the ventilator that he had been on for over a year – a huge relief to Sue, and Jason himself.

He remains on intermittent renal dialysis while he still has a tracheotomy – meaning that he continues to vomit every day.

Complicating his recovery from Covid was another illness he began suffering from while in hospital, leading him to have a cardiac arrest.

Sue said: “His kidneys and lungs had almost been completely destroyed and he has developed suspected gastroparesis.

“He had aspirated into his lungs so badly that he vomited a litre, this lead to him developing pneumonia.

“He then had a cardiac arrest later in the year. It’s just been awful for him.”

Sue said that Jason has good days and bad days in his recovery, with the bad days being difficult to deal with.

During his time in hospital, Sue has only been able to see her husband sparingly, which has been difficult for them both.

However, Jason has made small recovery steps in recent weeks, with Sue being able to see her husband three times in a week, and allowing him to go outside.

Sue and Jason Kelk on their wedding day with her daughter, Clair – Image: Claire Griffin / SWNS.COM

She said: “It has been full of happiness and dark depression. It’s been a rollercoaster.

“I just want to be ready when we hear the words – Jason is ready to go home soon.

“But we do not know when that will be.”

With Jason being hospitalised for over 12 months, the last year has been extraordinarily difficult on the family.

To help support them for when Jason returns home, Sue has set up a GoFundMe account to give the family some relief.

Sue said: “All the help that we’ve been given so far – I cannot thank everyone enough. “It’s been really, really tough. Thank you all so much.”

  • Top Feature Photo: Jason Kelk in hospital – Image: Sue Kelk / SWNS