A 29-year-old motivational speaker and mental health advocate is pleading with young people across East Lancashire to stick to the most recent restrictions in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, as his whole family battle with the virus.

Mo Congress, who lives in Shear Brow in Blackburn was diagnosed with Covid-19 on October 2, and since then he says he's lost a stone in weight, has difficulty walking up the stairs, and has been struggling with his breathing on and off for days.

Mr Congress, who has had two major surgeries in the past due to collapsed lungs, said: "I contracted Covid from my parents and tested positive on October 2 after getting symptoms a few days after them.

"I'm on day 22 now and yesterday I felt like I was back to day one again; that's how bad it is.

"The virus plays tricks on you, as a few days into it I thought I was better but a few days later my breathing got worse.

"I've lost so much weight; I was already underweight before but the virus is stopping me eating.

"I've lost my appetite and I just feel really horrible, I can't put it into words.

"When going up the stairs I have to walk up really slowly, like a tortoise, but by the time I'm at the top I'm exhausted."

Mr Congress' parents were also diagnosed with the virus after developing symptoms at the end of September.

While his father, who is 64 and has no underlying health conditions, is at home and on the mend, his mother, who has diabetes, is still recovering in hospital.

This is the second time his mum, who is 61, has been in hospital due to the virus, as following her initial discharge a few weeks ago, her condition at home became progressively worse and she developed sepsis, which required her to be re-admitted.

The 29-year-old continued: "My parents were both in the same position for a while, and they both had very low oxygen levels. My dad is recovering well at home but mum is still recovering in hospital.

"I called 111 yesterday for myself and the doctor said the virus may have damaged my kidney and potentially left a blood clot on the lungs, as is happening with a lot of Covid patients.

"I plead with you, with everyone, please do not go out if you have symptoms; the virus does not discriminate.

"You have no idea how bad it will hit you; you might get better, you might not get it as bad as some, but your parents might not get better.

"Take all precautions necessary - it's not like the flu - this has been mentally and physically torturous and I wouldn't wish this upon anyone, not even my worst enemy."