United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned home from the hospital on Easter Sunday morning, and revealed in a video, posted to social media, just how close he came to losing his life to the novel coronavirus.
“It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life,” Johnson said on Twitter. “It could have gone either way.”
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 revealed that, when he was rushed to the intensive care unit of a local hospital late last week, he was likely near death and, without the dedicated attention of nurses and doctors, he may have been one of the U.K.’s many victims of coronavirus.
“Mr Johnson, 55, was taken to London’s St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday – 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19,” the BBC reported Sunday morning. “He had three nights in intensive care before returning to a ward on Thursday.”
Johnson was lucky enough to avoid being placed on a ventilator, according to reports from last week, and received oxygen treatment instead, while being closely monitored by hospital staff for any changes in his condition.
In the Twitter video, Johnson says he witnessed the “personal courage” of everyone from nurses and doctors to hospital attendants and custodians who, he said, “kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept rising this deadly virus.” He went on to name a dozen of his caretakers whom he credits with saving his life.
He also thanked Britons who are staying home to “flatten the curve,” telling them that, “I want you to know that this Easter Sunday, I do believe your efforts are worth it.”
“I thank you because so many millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing, millions going through the hardship of self-isolation faithfully, patiently, and with thought and care for others as well as themselves,” Johnson said.
“Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past,” he added.
Johnson’s fiance released her own statement on social media Sunday, revealing that, “[t]here were times last week that were very dark indeed. My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones.”
The Prime Minister’s office told the BBC Sunday that Johnson is still recovering and that it may be some time before he returns to work. Instead, he will spend the next few weeks recovering at his country home.
“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received,” Number Ten Downing Street, the PM’s official residence, said in a statement. “All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”
Fox News reports that the U.K. has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Figures later Sunday are expected to show that over 10,000 people in the U.K. have died after testing positive for coronavirus,” the outlet reported. “On Saturday, Britain reported 917 new coronavirus-related deaths.”