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‘Miracle’ return home on cards for one of UK’s longest Covid patients

Bobby Laviniere (left) and his family are appealing for donations to help the long-term recovery of his twin brother Steve (Picture: ITV/Bobby & Steve)

A ‘miracle’ would come true if one of Britain’s longest-running Covid patients is able to return home, his twin brother has said.

Bobby Laviniere said his family is making gradual preparations to welcome home Steve as they adapt his house to suit his care needs.

The ‘terrific’ DJ has been in hospital for 16 months and although he can open his eyes he only shows flickers of awareness.

Bobby was also hospitalised with Covid a few days before Steve in March 2020 but recovered after two weeks, while his sibling was put in an induced coma in an intensive care unit.

The 57-year-olds, who are well known in London as house music DJs, share an unspoken bond and have stayed close, with Steve’s family now appealing via GoFundMe for donations to fund his return home.

Steve, from Crawley, suffered heart and organ failure but is out of the induced coma and Bobby, from Redbridge in east London, is hopeful his sibling can return home at some point in the future.

After Covid spread to Steve’s nervous system, he was diagnosed with prolonged disorder of consciousness, meaning he cannot communicate or move his body, although he can blink and has a sleep pattern.

He was able to return home for the first time last month to be with Bobby, his wife Julie and other close family.

Steve Laviniere has a wide circle of family and friends, including his wife Julie, rallying round in his time of need as he fights long Covid (Picture: Bobby & Steve/GoFundMe)

Steve Laviniere has a wide circle of family and friends, including his wife Julie, rallying round as he fights long Covid (Picture: Bobby & Steve/GoFundMe)

Bobby said: ‘The important thing is that Steve hasn’t gone back in these 16 months and when you consider his organs had initially failed, he is doing well. Four weeks ago he was allowed his first home visit and it was great to have him back in his own world surrounded by love and it has led us to plan for the future for Steve to come home.

‘Although he needs carers to help him as he can’t do anything by himself, he doesn’t have a lot of medical needs.

DJs Bobby (left) and Steve Laviniere in Madrid where they played a gig shortly before they both fell ill with Covid-19 (Picture: Bobby & Steve/Facebook/@bobbyandsteveUK)
Twin brothers Bobby (left) and Steve Laviniere have an unspoken bond that has remained throughout the latter’s fight with Covid (Picture: Bobby & Steve/Facebook/@bobbyandsteveUK)
Bobby Laviniere (left) and twin brother Steve with Gordon Mac, an influential figure in the UK’s dance music scene (Picture: Jayne Billi Photography)

‘It was truly overwhelming to see Steve back in his house, it was a miracle for us and we want to make it happen for good.

‘You would have thought there would be tears but there wasn’t, the atmosphere was so uplifting and we were so excited to have him home.

‘We were full of positivity for Steve, he had a care assistant with him and we could all tell he was really relaxed. We know he has to and will improve, and it will mean the world to us to have him back home.’

Bobby (left) and Steve are popular DJs on London’s house music scene and have received support from big names in the genre (Picture: Bobby & Steve/Facebook/@bobbyandsteveUK)
Steve (left) and Bobby Laviniere are house music DJs who have had hundreds of messages of support since they fell ill with Covid-19 in March (Picture: Bobby & Steve/Facebook/@bobbyandsteveUK)

The twins, whose DJ act is called Bobby & Steve from Groove Odyssey, believe they caught the virus after playing a gig in Madrid.

Steve was treated in East Surrey Hospital before being moved to another London hospital, where he is in an on-site nursing home.

His prolonged battle with complications from Covid pre-dates that of Derek Draper, the husband of Good Morning Britain (GMB) presenter Kate Garraway. Steve was first admitted for treatment on March 29, the day before Mr Draper was hospitalised.

Bobby and his wife, Sylma, have appeared on GMB to tell their family’s story and in Finding Derek, an intimate ITV documentary about long Covid presented by Garraway.

Derek Draper was originally admitted to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms on March 30, 2020 (Pictured: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock/2019)

House music legends David Morales, Norman Jay MBE, Barbara Tucker and Trevor Nelson are among a who’s who of names supporting the Lavinieres with a gig on October 3 at the Ministry of Sound.

David Morales said: ‘I first met Bobby and Steve when I first went to London in the late 80s. Bobby and Steve have and still play a pivotal role in the world of house music in the UK. Respect.’

Bobby Laviniere and his wife Sylma appear on Good Morning Britain to recount their experiences of his brother’s Covid battle (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Norman Jay said: ‘Love, admiration and total respect for Steve as a terrific DJ and all round great music and family man which knows no bounds.
‘The music world’s a better place with Bobby and Steve.’

Funds will go to renovating Steve’s house with a view to his return and to his long-term rehabilitation.

The twins, who have six siblings, have had dozens of respected names in the dance music world come forward to support the Dance for Stevie event.

‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction,’ Bobby said.

‘We’ve been DJing since 1984 and we could have filled up the bill a million times over, but to have people like David Morales saying “count me in bro” is a beautiful thing, it shows that people stick around to help others.’

Tickets are available here and a GoFundMe page can be found here.

Do you have a story you would like to share? Contact josh.layton@metro.co.uk

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