Roehl Ribaya was the last patient to leave Blackpool Victoria Hospital intensive care unit after being treated for Covid-19 in July.
The father-of-one had spent 60 days in intensive care but never fully recovered from the long-term effects of the virus. He was applauded as he left the ward and said the staff had “given me my life back” and that he “cannot thank them enough”.
Close friend Mark Delabajan told the BBC Ribaya’s cause of death was cardiac arrest with the secondary cause given as post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis.
He said: “It was long Covid. His breathing was never the same and he couldn’t get up the stairs.
“He was rushed back into hospital a number of times.”
Kevin McGee, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were extremely saddened to hear about the death of Roehl and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.’’
One in 10 people are believed to suffer from long-term symptoms of Covid-19, which exceed the suggested two-week recovery time from the virus.
It has been dubbed “long Covid” as people struggle with extreme fatigue, breathlessness and problems with concentration and memory for months.
Angela Delabajan has set up a crowdfunder to help the family with funeral costs. She wrote: “He survived months of being intubated without friends or family by his side. But the war was far from over. Despite being declared Covid-free, he suffered the long term effects of the virus.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.