The family of one of Britain’s longest-surviving Covid patients has sent a message of hope to TV presenter Kate Garraway, urging her: “Don’t give up.”
Jeremy Clough, 48, was blue-lighted to hospital on March 26 – four days before Kate’s husband Derek Draper fell ill.
But while Derek, 53, remains very ill, security guard Jeremy is learning to walk again in a hospital rehabilitation unit after spending a month in a coma and 16 weeks in a high-dependency unit.
Jeremy’s story mirrors that of Derek’s whose family’s anguish was laid bare in an ITV documentary by Good Morning Britain star Kate this week.
Jeremy’s sister Nicola, 45, said: “Watching Kate’s struggle left me in tears as it resonated with our family. I recognised that look of confusion in Derek’s eyes and the upset as he came in and out of consciousness because that’s how Jeremy used to be.
“I just hope that Kate realises there is hope.
“We got Jeremy back and I’m sure she’ll get Derek back – no matter how long it takes or how hopeless
Golfer Jeremy, of Earls Barton, Northants, fell ill 10 days before being rushed to Northampton General Hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.
Nicola and her parents, Gill, 73, and Robert, 75, spent hours on video calls talking to Jeremy, willing him to get better, just as Kate has with Derek.
Nicola said: “When Jeremy came out of the coma I’m not sure how much he recognised us. He was very confused. He knew he was in hospital, but couldn’t grasp what had happened to him.
“Like Derek, he would try to speak to us, but then end up getting upset. Sometimes he managed to put his thumb up.”
After months in a high-dependency unit, Jeremy was transferred to Leamington Spa rehab hospital, where he learned to talk again and is now learning to walk with a frame.
He can only eat blended food, and doctors have no idea what long Covid will mean for his future.
Nicola said: “Jeremy doesn’t process things in the same way he did before and his short-term memory is terrible. We don’t know if he will ever fully get back to normal or ever go back to work. The future is so uncertain.”
Jeremy is due to be moved to a longer-term rehab centre, but the family say there is nothing in their area.
They now want specialised long Covid rehabilitation centres to be set up around the UK.