2006 A3 I4 wont start. Completely stumped!

Has spark- although plugs were dry when pulled (should have been a little damp if gas was getting into cylinder)
starter turns strong
starts with starter fluid.
new low pressure fuel pump in gas tank just replaced today (Jan 6), did not help.
Cannot get the car to connect to my VAG COM but the codes
I had the cam follower replaced 5 months ago- has had issues since then, although mostly fine for the last 5 months.

Had a limp mode scenario about Dec 14, where it limped and died but then restarted and drove fine after letting it sit for a few minutes. Had a CEL on for a couple days but it cleared after driving awhile.

Very similar scenario on Friday Dec 21. Low fuel light came on, but before getting gas had to stop for an appointment about 4 km after the low fuel warning, then would not restart. Got a jerry can and put gas in, it restarted strong on first try, drove 100 metres, but then went into "limp mode" for about 50 feet, then stalled when I pulled over. Exactly the same scenario as a week prior. Has not started properly since.