| Last updated
A man who was given a one percent chance of surviving Covid-19 has defied the odds after 50 days on a ventilator.
Steve Banks, a construction site manager from East Tilbury, Essex, was rushed to hospital on 25 March when his breathing deteriorated and within hours he was put into an induced coma.
The 44-year-old dad-of-two - who had no underlying health conditions - soon began to deteriorate further, suffering heart, kidney and respiratory failure, sepsis and pneumonia.
He was given a tracheotomy and put on a life-support machine in a last-ditch attempt to get oxygen into his body at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. All the while, the family were preparing for the worst from afar, writing goodbye letters as they could not visit him.
Fast-forward to 20 May and Steve was miraculously discharged from hospital.
Steve said: "I don't remember much after going into hospital as everything just crashed.
"When I woke up I was in a different hospital, I couldn't speak, and there were lots of nurses around me clapping. It was quite a surreal moment.
"I went into hospital before the lockdown, only 55 people had died. When I came out it was over 31,000 - the country had changed beyond all recognition, it was such a shock."
Like the country as a whole, Steve too had changed beyond all recognition during this period. The body builder said he feels like 'half the man' he was before contracting the disease and is unable to walk unaided.
He said: "I was a very active person, I tried to look after myself. I was an avid gym-goer and I lifted a lot of weights.
"But this absolutely battered me, when I woke up I looked in the mirror and didn't recognise myself. I was around 16st and went down to about 12st 2lbs when I left hospital.
"I cannot walk unaided and have lost so much muscle mass and am half the man I was before. I feel battered and can't overexert myself and am now dreading going out because of the after effects of all this."
The ordeal had a devastating impact on the family as a whole as well.
Steve's wife Lisa said: "I was so scared, I felt destroyed, I was numb with the anxiety and the stress of it all, I was just devastated. I had to have a conversation with our children about how their dad might die.
"I was left thinking, 'How are our children ever going to get over this and how are we going to deal with this?'
"When he first came home I couldn't look at him, it just didn't seem real. We were so happy he was over the worst of it."
Steve said he wanted to thank the 'amazing' NHS staff whose care made it possible for him to still be here today.
I think we can all second that.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read