A dad-of-six who made a “miraculous” recovery from Covid-19 after being told he had just a five per cent chance of survival has made an emotional return home.
Christopher Lazar, 44, spent eight weeks in hospital after showing symptoms of the killer virus - and spent five in ICU while hooked on a life-saving ventilator.
The quality control inspector has suffered with mild asthma for most of his life but said he never thought it cause him to inch so close to death.
His condition had become so severe that his wife Sarah, who works at Bradford Royal Infirmary, began to brace for the worst and prepare his funeral.
He was struggling to breathe while on the ventilator and was put in a medically induced coma after just days in hospital in May.
The virus had attacked Christopher's immune system and he was struggling to fight it as his body shut down.
Doctors told him during those five weeks he suffered multiple heart failure, renal failure, pneumonia, sepsis, a pulmonary embolism and a necrotic left foot - which will likely result in it being amputated.
The dad-of-six is on a knife's edge as he waits for confirmation of what will happen to his foot.
But in June, he made a “miraculous” recovery and his condition began to improve despite him losing over four stone in that span.
On July 10 he was finally discharged nearly eight weeks after first being admitted and was given a raucous applause as he left St James Hospital in Leeds.
It was an emotionally charged scene when he arrived home greeted by his family and neighbours who cheered on the heroic dad.
Christopher, from Leeds, said: “I can’t believe this has happened to me - it was all so quick.
“It feels a bit like a Hollywood movie but I’m so happy to be back home with my family.
“I’m getting better each day but I’m still feeling a bit rough.
“I’m alive which is great, but not kicking quite yet.
“I’ve got mobile oxygen which is keeping me going and the road to recovery will be a long one.
“But to see my family and my neighbours all welcome me home was so heartwarming.
“Holding my kids again - it was just so emotional.”
On May 15 Christopher began to show symptoms of Covid-19 and became unwell - suffering with a fever and a cough.
As his wife Sarah is a haematology nurse at BRI, he was able to be tested and on May 21 his test confirmed he had contracted the killer virus.
Following other tests, Sarah found out her and their six children all tested positive for coronavirus - but were all asymptomatic other than Christopher.
His condition had deteriorated so much by May 25 he was accepted into a plasma trial to save his life.
The ‘convalescent plasma’ treatment involves blood plasma donations from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 which are used to support patients to fight the disease.
At this point, doctors told his wife Sarah that he was unlikely to survive.
The 44-year-old nurse said: “We were told by the hospital that he was unlikely to make it.
"He had a five percent chance to survive because he was struggling to breathe even on the ventilator.
“It was the worst experience I’ve ever had in my life.
“It was horrifying to watch him as he struggled to breathe, struggled to do anything.
“I didn’t sleep for five weeks.”
Sarah was told by doctors to prepare his funeral due to his life threatening condition.
She said: “I was told to prepare for his funeral - imagine that.
“I had to sit our six children down and tell them he might not make it - it wasn’t a conversation I ever imagined I would have to have.
“You just don’t realise how bad it is until you see someone you love fighting for their life.
“It was an absolute nightmare.
“It felt like a lifetime had gone by - the kids and I feel like we’ve gone through about 20 years in the last month.”
Of the dozen people whose condition was severe enough to be placed on the plasma trial in all of Yorkshire, Christopher was the only one to survive.
She said: “He recovered and he recovered so quickly - everyone said it was a miracle.
“One of the doctors told me that they called Christopher their miracle patient.
“We got told several times that he wasn’t going to make it but here he is by my side today.
“My husband is alive, and while he may never be the same, I’m so grateful to have him here.”
Due to the damage caused to Christopher's lungs, doctors estimated that he may not recover full function and ability to breathe naturally for 18 months.
Sarah said: “We don’t know when things will go back to normal, or if they ever will.
“He has barely any oxygen at the moment and any small activity, even just getting up, he needs to be helped with the mobile oxygen device.
“But he’s alive - which is all I care about.
“It’s been so emotional and when he was back it was the best day of my life.
“We had a curry and sat in bed and watched the Old Guard on Netflix. I didn’t think I’d ever have another date night with him."
She added: “I remember telling the doctors I felt it was unfair because I’ve not had enough time with him yet - it was the worst feeling."