THE community has rallied to support a popular Basingstoke DJ who is recovering from Covid after becoming seriously ill.

Leroy Wilson, who has been a DJ in Basingstoke since the 1990s, caught Covid in June, having been double vaccinated.

The 55-year-old from Hatch Warren went to A&E with a severe headache and was diagnosed with Covid.

His daughter, Bernadette, told the Gazette he was discharged two days later before suffering breathing difficulties, explaining: “He went back to hospital by ambulance because he couldn’t breathe. He managed to ring 999 and when I spoke to him on the phone, he couldn’t get his words out at all, it was really scary.”

The father-of-one deteriorated in hospital and ended up being sedated and put on a ventilator for two weeks in intensive care.

“I was able to go in and sit outside his window but I wasn’t allowed in his room,” said 33-year-old mum-of-two Bernadette, adding: “It was awful. The doctors weren’t convinced he was going to make it. It was really hard trying to stay positive.”

Tragically, there was worse to come for grandfather-of-two Leroy, whose 85-year-old father died in Jamacia just as he woke from the sedation on July 23.

A friend Leroy grew up with also died around the same time.

“He was very shocked and sad and had a little cry,” said Bernadette, who had to deliver the devastating news to her dad in hospital.

Leroy was later taken to a rehabilitation centre in Andover, where he has had to learn how to walk again.

Doctors warned he could be there for three months, but Bernadette said her father is making a remarkable recovery and is preparing to return home in a few weeks.

She said Leroy is anxious to come home from hospital to see his 87-year-old mother, who has been left bed-ridden after catching Covid in November.

“He’s so determined,” she said, explaining that Leroy’s motivation is to recover in time to walk her down the aisle when she marries in June next year, after her wedding was postponed from July this year because of Covid.

However, Leroy has a blood disorder which makes him particularly vulnerable, meaning he may be unable to work as a DJ for some time.

In response, the community has rallied to support Leroy, raising funds to help him out.

So far, the fundraiser has generated more than £4,000.

Bernadette said her father has been unable to work for much of the last 18 months, and said she was touched by the response from the people of Basingstoke.

“It’s so sweet and generous of the community to get behind him. He’s always got time for people and always has an ear to listen. He’s really well known. As a child we could never walk from one end of the town to the other without being stopped,” she said.

Sylvia Roshier, who set up the fundraising page, has known Leroy since she was 12, when he attended the same school as her brother.

She said: “Leroy has had no income since the first lockdown… Like us all, he has bills to pay. He is a legend in Basingstoke, Guildford, and many other places. He’s helped and been a good friend to hundreds.

“It’s now our turn to help him. Please donate whatever you can.”

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