Rohit Patel, 61, was admitted to King George Hospital in Redbridge, on March 31 after he began struggling to breathe.
Just a week earlier, on the first full day of lockdown, the Asda worker had left halfway through his early morning checkout shift to go home when he felt ill.
The father-of-three spent 52 days in the intensive care unit — a record for the hospital for a Covid-19 patient, the family were told — and survived. Some 46 days were spent on a ventilator.
Twenty-seven of these were in an induced coma. Doctors and nurses lined the hospital corridors and clapped as Mr Patel was moved to a general ward on May 22, where he is now recovering and awaiting a date to return home.
Daughter Chandni Patel said: “A few times we were told that dad might not pull through. The odds were against him so we were preparing for the worst. It is a miracle he pulled through.
“The entire family are just so unbelievably grateful for everything the doctors and nurses have done. It’s a sheer miracle.”
After several weeks on the ventilator, Mr Patel’s condition began to improve and doctors started planning to remove the machinery helping him breathe.
But when doctors began removing the ventilator Mr Patel’s condition deteriorated and medics discovered he had caught sepsis, which was also attacking his lungs. They later found he had multiple bacterial infections.
Ms Patel said: “We had all this hope he was going to survive and then we found he had something else to fight. It was a really difficult time.
“The doctors did everything they could and my dad fought hard and he came through it. It is unbelievable.”
He is now having to relearn to walk, eat and drink on his own.