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Boris Johnson name-checks NHS staff who 'saved my life, no question' as he says it 'could have gone either way'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/04/2020 Rebecca Speare-Cole
Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Evening Standard

Boris Johnson has name-checked NHS staff to thank them for "standing by my bedside" when his battle against coronavirus "could have gone either way".

In a video message posted to Twitter on Easter Sunday, the Prime Minister thanked a raft of medics who "saved his life, no question" during his treatment at St Thomas' Hospital in central London.

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He went on to praise two nurses in particular - Jenny and Luis - who he said watched over him all night while he was in intensive care.

It comes after he was discharged from hospital on Sunday after seven nights - three of which were spent in the ICU. He is now recuperating in the PM's countryside residence of Chequers.

Mr Johnson said: “I want to thank the many nurses, men and women, whose care has been so astonishing.

a truck is parked on the side of a building: A billboard van outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care (PA) © Provided by Evening Standard A billboard van outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care (PA)

“I am going to forget some names, so forgive me, but I want to thank Po Ling and Shannon and Emily and Angel and Connie and Becky and Rachael and Nicky and Ann.

“And I hope they won’t mind if I mention in particular two nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way.

“They are Jenny from New Zealand – Invercargill on the South Island to be exact – and Luis from Portugal, near Porto.

“And the reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed.”

Mr Johnson also named many other nurses as he thanked the NHS, saying: “It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.”

He said: “I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors, leaders in their fields, men and women but several of them for some reason called Nick, who took some crucial decisions a few days ago for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life."

The PM also said he had personally “seen the pressure the NHS is under” while at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London for the past week.

“In the last seven days, I have of course seen the pressure that the NHS is under,” he said in his video message.

“I have seen the personal courage not just of the doctors and nurses but of everyone – the cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers of every description. Physios, radiographers, pharmacists – who have kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking this deadly virus.

“It is thanks to that courage, that devotion, that duty and that love that our NHS has been unbeatable.”

He continued to praise “the efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it”, adding: “Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. “

Mr Johnson continued: “Because although we mourn every day those who are taken from us in such numbers, and though the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus.

“A fight we never picked against an enemy we still don’t entirely understand.

“We are making progress in this national battle because the British public formed a human shield around this country’s greatest national asset – our National Health Service.

“We understood and we decided that if together we could keep our NHS safe, if we could stop our NHS from being overwhelmed, then we could not be beaten, and this country would rise together and overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past.”

Concluding his remarks, the PM said the NHS would be “unconquerable” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“So that is how I also know that across this country, 24 hours a day, for every second of every hour, there are hundreds of thousands of NHS staff who are acting with the same care and thought and precision as Jenny and Luis,” Mr Johnson continued.

“That is why we will defeat this coronavirus and defeat it together.

“We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

“So thank you from me, and from all of us, to the NHS, and let’s remember to follow the rules on social distancing. Stay at home, protect our NHS – and save lives.

“Thank you, and Happy Easter.”

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