A 48-year-old fears that his life will never go back to “normal” after becoming so ill with Covid-19, that he is relearning how to walk after more than half a year after infection.

Rob Orton, who was one of the younger patients in hospital at Watford General since November, was so struck by the virus that when ITV visited for a report in January, he had to use a whiteboard to communicate.

Six months since contracting the virus, the father-of-two is still suffering from the effects of Long Covid.

He had to have a tracheotomy after being on a ventilator from the virus, and he suffered from his damaged lungs, numerous infections and inability to eat solid foods.

Talking to ITV last week, Mr Orton said that he fears his life will never go back to normal.

He said: "The doctors were saying you'll be on the ventilator for three days, you'll be home in a week's time."

"Six months down the trot, I'm still here."

He explained that he feels lucky to be alive, because a couple of people said he should not be.

His wife, Coleen Orton, said that after being told Mr Orton was first put on a ventilator, she was terrified.

Colleen Orton (Photo: ITV)

Colleen Orton (Photo: ITV)

She said: "And then the following morning, I had to wake up and tell the children. And how would you tell them that Dad might not come home?”

"There have been quite a lot of times along the way that he could have gone the other way, so he's very lucky to be alive and we're very lucky to have him still,” she added.

The family have come to terms with how life-changing the virus can be, and that small things such as plans to travel to Australia in the future may never happen due to the Long Covid effects.

Dr Razak Kehinde believes there will be a surge of Long Covid patients (Photo: ITV)

Dr Razak Kehinde believes there will be a surge of Long Covid patients (Photo: ITV)

Dr Razak Kehinde, from Watford General Hospital, stated he had “no doubt” there will be a surge of patients with Long Covid complications.

However, he did add that the complications could range from “very little to very severe”.

Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 29 per cent of hospitalised Covid-19 patients are readmitted within six months, and more than 12 per cent die within the same period.