Britain’s ‘longest hospitalized Covid patient’ is defying the odds as family hope he will be home soon
Popular DJ Steve Laviniere, one half of soulful house duo Bobby & Steve, is believed to be the UK’s longest-staying hospitalized coronavirus patient after suffering brain damage from the virus
Image: Bobby Laviniere)
A popular DJ, who will have been in hospital for two years later this month after contracting Covid, has been battling a critical illness on and off – and his family are now hoping he can return home soon.
Steve Laviniere is believed to be the UK’s longest hospitalized coronavirus patient after suffering brain damage caused by the virus.
Steve, now 58, was taken on March 29, 2020 – just three days after the UK went into lockdown for the first time.
Two years later, he remains in a nursing home in Guildford, Surrey, after suffering from acute haemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHLE), a rare neurological condition, when medics placed him in an induced coma.
He is unable to walk or speak and needs to be fed through a tube, but his loved ones have not given up hope of recovery.
Before the pandemic, he and his twin brother Bobby – who also fell into a coma with Covid days before Steve – toured the world as the soulful house duo Bobby & Steve.
“We don’t know if he’s going to come back singing and dancing but you can’t bet against Steve,” Bobby told The Mirror.
“He can’t communicate, but I know he’s struggling inside. I know Steve is vibrating internally, I can’t be negative when he’s positive. He is doing amazingly well.”
In recent months, Julie, Bobby and Steve’s devoted wife, has been told twice that he might not pull through – only for him to defy the medics.
Last August, Steve’s oxygen levels dropped to critical levels and tests revealed he was suffering from worsening kidney stones.
Because of his condition, he couldn’t tell the medics he had a problem until it was almost too late.
“They told us to prepare for the worst,” Bobby said. “But my brother hasn’t been in that state in so long to check out now, he doesn’t check out like that.”
And he got sick again six weeks ago when his oxygen levels dropped, but he got through.
“Six of the emergency response team rushed into the room, it was a life and death situation,” Bobby said. “It was scary, advisors said it wasn’t looking good but Steve just keeps winning his battles.”
Bobby, who video calls Steve every day and visits several times a week started a GoFundMe page to pay for major adjustments to his and Julie’s home.
The family hopes that Steve will be able to return home from East London once major renovations have been made to his and Juliet’s home.
He’s currently making short visits every two months, but it’s hoped he’ll be able to return full-time soon.
On his first visit home, his loved ones were delighted when Steve moved his head to look at Mother Bernadine as she prayed.
Unfortunately, the brothers’ mother cannot welcome him when he returns, as he died in October after a long illness.
“She died the day we had a dance for Steve at the Ministry of Sound,” Bobby said. “My mum knew she was going, she had a chance to tell everyone and be with all of us at the end.
“I had to tell everyone at the party that our mother just passed away.”
Industry friends David Morales, Norman Jay and Trevor Nelson are among those who have lent their support during his illness and took part in last October’s successful fundraiser.
And Bobby throws a comedy night to celebrate the anniversary of his brother’s hospitalization.
“The amount of love we’ve received is overwhelming, it’s beautiful,” Bobby said.
“We know Steve needs his family around him. The plans have been submitted, hopefully the house will be renovated by the end of the summer. We’re still collecting donations, we’re not quite there yet.”
Bobby, who has appeared in TV documentaries alongside Kate Garraway – whose husband Derek Draper spent 13 months in hospital after contracting Covid – said he was on the way to setting up a foundation to help others.
“My calling now is to raise enough money to help other people with conditions like Steve’s,” he said.
Bobby believes he and Steve, who have been touring the world selling out huge events since they started DJing in 1984, contracted the virus just before lockdown in Madrid.
They were both out of breath during a business meeting the day after they returned, and Bobby’s condition worsened – although Steve appeared to be recovering.
Bobby was rushed to the hospital where he fell into a coma fighting the virus.
Two days before his release Steve was admitted but at the time his twin thought everything would be fine.
A Laugh for Steve comedy night starring Ricky Grover, Ninia Benjamin, Curtis Walker and Quincy the Cockney Prince is taking place at the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green, London on Monday March 28 – with the show also set to be streamed online .
Entrance tickets can be purchased here.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uks-longest-hospitalised-covid-patient-26491672 Britain's 'longest hospitalized Covid patient' is defying the odds as family hope he will be home soon