Firefighter who spent months recovering from Covid-19 returns to work on frontline

Firefighter Steve Landon returned to work six months after almost losing his life to Covid-19.

A firefighter from Wrexham has returned to work on the frontline after nearly losing his life to Covid-19.

Father-of-four Steve Landon spent more than two weeks in intensive care after being diagnosed with the virus six months ago.

The 39-year-old finally left hospital in mid April - breathless, exhausted and weighing three stone less than before.

Doctors described his survival as a "miracle", and believed it was the level of fitness that Steve maintained for his job that kept him alive.

Steve said it was the strength of his wife, Becky, family and friends that fuelled his determination to recover, which has taken him more than six months.

Steve said his family were told he had a 50-50 chance of surviving the virus.

"We all went through this together. It wasn't just the effect it had on me, it had a massive effect on my family," he said. "The stress, isolation, loneliness, fear of the unknown, it was the worst experience of my life."There was a point when my eldest son asked 'Is Dad going to die?' and Becky had to tell him she didn't know - it was heart-wrenching."

Steve - an active firefighter of 10 years based in Deeside - could barely lift 5kg compared to the 105kg he was able to lift before.

"I was so ill and weak and it was heartbreaking for my kids to see me like that - especially my youngest who was always used to jumping on me and having shoulder rides - he just didn't know what to do."I felt useless not having the energy to pick him up."

  • Steve Landon on his recovery

Steve's recovery has included physiotherapy and follow-up hospital appointments, and he was told he was lucky not to have suffered lasting damage to his lungs or heart.

There was a time where he thought he would never be able to return to work.

"Over the last few months, I've pushed myself to get better and I'm now at the stage where I feel relief that I've made it, psychologically and physically," Steve said.

"It felt so good putting my fire outfit and boots back on and getting back into a normal routine as crew manager, I've really missed it."

Steve was able to reunite with his children in April.

Having experienced the disease first-hand, Steve said he finds it frustrating when he sees people breaking social distancing rules or not wearing masks.

"It's hard for people who don't know anyone who's had coronavirus to understand how real it is."

I was lucky to make it but I saw people who didn't.

Steve Landon

The father reflected on his experience of the virus, which has killed more than 43,000 people in the UK.

"It's when you stop and think about everything that's happened that it really hits you.

"Of course, it's at the back of my mind that fear of being on the frontline and getting it again.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster but I've made it and for that, I feel so proud."