A patient who has been at Watford General Hospital for more than two months has opened up on how he just wants to go home to his family.

Rob Orton was admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 on November 4 and is on the slow road to recovery, but is still being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit.

The 48-year-old refuse collector has had a tracheotomy (opening cut into the neck) following weeks on a ventilator.

Unable to speak, he communicated with ITV by writing on a whiteboard about how much he wanted to be home with his wife Colleen and sons Daniel and William.

He also wrote in a message: “Been in a long time. I am slowly getting better thanks to Watford Hospital.”

Hillingdon Times: Rob Orton (photo ITV/West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust)Rob Orton (photo ITV/West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust)

Colleen said: “He’s unbelievably different to the person he was before he became ill. If anyone is in any doubt, Covid is definitely real.”

Another patient who was at Watford General is John Raby, with the 76-year-old admitted to the hospital with his wife on December 29.

While Mrs Raby quickly recovered and went home, John had to wait nearly three weeks before he could be discharged.

He said: “We were self-isolating so I really don’t know how we became ill.”

John was dressed and ready for discharge when the ITV News crew came on to one of the Covid wards.

Hillingdon Times: John Raby (photo ITV)John Raby (photo ITV)

He told them how awful it had been to see fellow patients die on the ward and was overwhelmed by gratitude for staff and how much they had helped him to recover.

He said: “Anyone who thinks this is a hoax needs to see a good psychiatrist!”

Hillingdon Times:

Inside Watford General Hospital (photo ITV)

Vicky Houghton, an intensive care matron at Watford General Hospital, told ITV that the hospital has “been seeing a lot more younger people this time” – and that the average age at the moment of Covid-19 patients are those in their 30s or 40s.

Read more - Pressures facing Watford General Hospital highlighted

"We're seeing families, we're having families coming in and we're seeing families being wiped out - which is just so soul-destroying,” she said.

Hillingdon Times: Dr Andy Barlow (left) and Vicky Houghton (right) (photo ITV)Dr Andy Barlow (left) and Vicky Houghton (right) (photo ITV)

Dr Andy Barlow, a consultant respiratory physician, said: "The thing I really wanted to draw your attention to are the ages of these patients - 52, 52, 52, 46, 53, 53 - I go on.

"These aren’t my or people’s grandparents on the ward here, these are school-aged children’s mums and dads on this ward."

He added: “It’s very hard sitting on a bed, looking out the ward and seeing patients die.

“I can’t imagine how harrowing that is for a patient and we have had families witness that, some have witnessed parents dying here.”