U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson credited the care of the National Health Service (NHS) with saving his life after a week in the hospital spent battling COVID-19, admitting that “things could have gone either way” in his first public comments since being discharged from the hospital.
“I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question,” Johnson said in a video message posted on Twitter Sunday. “It’s hard to find words to express my debt . . . though the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus.”
It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.
The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/HK7Ch8BMB5
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 12, 2020
Johnson went on to thank several nurses by name, “who stood by my bedside for 48 hours, when things could have gone either way . . . 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.”
Johnson’s pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds, took to Twitter to express her own gratitude for Johnson’s care, saying she felt “incredibly lucky,” while revealing “there were times last week that were very dark indeed.”
Johnson was admitted to the hospital on April 5, after announcing he had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 27. While officials said the move “wasn’t an emergency” and was for Johnson “to have some routine tests,” the prime minister was then moved to intensive care on April 6 after his condition “worsened.”
The prime minister was able to leave intensive care on April 9 after turning the corner. Johnson had been receiving “standard oxygen treatment” but was not on a ventilator, his spokesperson said.