Jason Kelk, 49, was admitted to St James’s Hospital in Leeds on March 31 last year and remained there until Friday, when he was transferred to a hospice and later died in the day surrounded by his family.
His heartbroken wife Sue Kelk, 63, said Jason’s battle had become too difficult and he made the decision to withdraw all treatment.
Paying homage to her 20-year-old ‘soul mate’, Sue added, “It was so peaceful. It was really important for him to do this on his terms.
“But he leaves a lot of people completely deprived. People might not think he was brave, but my God, he was brave. I really think he did.
“And I just think that’s the bravest thing you can do – actually say ‘I don’t want to live like this anymore’. “
Jason, who suffered from Type II diabetes and asthma, was admitted to hospital on March 31 and a few days later, on April 3, he was transferred to intensive care.
He has stayed there ever since, fighting for his life on numerous occasions after the virus ravaged his lungs and kidneys.
Jason developed stomach problems so severe that he had to be fed intravenously when he died.
There was hope in March this year when he scored 15 consecutive days without using a fan. He was removed from a kidney filter 24/7 and enjoyed outdoor family visits to the hospital grounds once a week.
He revealed his hope of returning home to Leeds, saying he wanted to ‘sit on our couch and eat take out fish and chips with Sue while we watch TV’.
However, he added: “I have lost hope a few times, mainly because even now the destination I am working towards seems so far away. “
Jason’s recovery continued well to the point that he was able to drink cups of tea and eat cakes as well as return to one of his passions – computer coding.
Unfortunately, in early May, he got worse and ended up having to spend a few days on and off the ventilator before he developed two infections.
Sue said he “never really got over” from them.
He needed the ventilator full time again three weeks ago and Sue said that was when he decided he had had enough.
She said, “He just wanted it to end. The antibiotics had worked, but his mind was gone. “
Sue added, “I think really Jason from February 2020 is gone. This is the Jason we have known. But the Jason everyone loved was still there.
“I think I have been preparing from the start. Not that I didn’t believe he could do it.
“In the last few weeks before he relapsed I was just starting to think ‘maybe I can hope now’ and then I got kicked in the teeth. “
Sue said Jason was surrounded by her, mother, father and sister when he passed away this morning.
He also leaves five stepchildren and eight grandchildren – two born last year that he has never met – and another on the way.
Sue said he will miss her sense of humor the most and “just be there”. Add: ” [My daughter] Katie wrote a beautiful poem about him and said that we are soul mates and that is exactly what we are.
“We finished each other’s sentences half the time. We just instinctively knew what the other wanted. We just complemented each other. “
“It has certainly been a very fun life with him. We did some fun things – but we had a lot of things we were going to do.