Prime minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to the nursing and doctors that looked after him over the last week at St Thomas’ Hospital, singling out two nurses in particular for his thanks.
Along with a list of clinicians that had care for him over the last seven days, he highlighted intensive care nurses Jenny and Luis – subsequently named in the media as Luis Pitarma and Jenny McGee.
“I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question”
In an emotional video message, screened today on social media sites following his discharge, Mr Johnson thanked the NHS across the country, as well as those critical care staff who treated him in London for Covid-19.
He also used the very personal message to ask the public to stay at home in order to protect the health service during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question,” he said.
“It’s hard to find words to express my debt, but before I come to that I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making.”
Referring to his own recent time in intensive care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, he said: “In the last seven days I have of course seen the pressure that the NHS is under.
“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,” said Mr Johnson.
“I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors, leaders in the field,” he said. “I want to thank the many nurses, men and women, whose care has been so astonishing.”
“We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country”
Highlighting some of the nursing staff, he said: “I am going to forget some names, so please 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,” said the prime minister.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
“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,” he said.
“It is unconquerable. It is powered by love. So thank you from me, and from all of us, to the NHS,” he stated.
In response, Guy’s and St Thomas’ said on Twitter: “Thank you to the prime minister for his kind words about our trust today, and in particular our wonderful staff who cared for him.”