Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds will praise ‘utterly brilliant’ NHS staff for saving his life


Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for delivering their son Wilfred and for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus.

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday.

The couple nominated nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma, two nurses who cared for Mr Johnson at St Thomas’ Hospital in April, and the maternity team who delivered Wilfred later the same month. 

Ms Symonds says in the video: ‘You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it’s because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy.

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

‘As a family we have so much to be thankful to the NHS for and we will never stop being grateful.’

The Prime Minister then adds: ‘Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital who saved my life.

‘There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny.’

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple’s first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later.

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their 'courage and dedication' during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday

Baby Wilfred was born on April 29, less than two weeks after Mr Johnson left hospital

Baby Wilfred was born on April 29, less than two weeks after Mr Johnson left hospital

Boris Johnson left intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 9 (pictured) after being admitted with coronavirus four days prior

Boris Johnson left intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on April 9 (pictured) after being admitted with coronavirus four days prior

On March 27, he announced he had tested positive for the virus, but he continues to work from home, chairing cabinet meetings and issuing social media releases.

In a video message on Twitter, he said: ‘I’m working from home and self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.

‘But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced he had tested positive for Covid-19, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty said he had symptoms of the disease and was self-isolating.

Timeline: Boris’s battle with coronavirus 

March 26: Boris Johnson announces he has tested positive for coronavirus in a Twitter video and continues working in self-isolation from his Number 11 flat.

April 2: The PM comes out of self isolation

April 3: He urges people to stay at home

April 5: Downing Street says the PM has been taken to St Thomas’ Hospital as a precaution after displaying persistent symptoms.

April 6: Mr Johnson is moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit after his condition worsened, but does not require ventilation. Dominic Raab begins to deputise for the PM.

April 9: He was moved out of intensive care and back on to the normal ward.

April 11: The PM was discharged from hospital. He thanked NHS staff for saving his life in a video recorded from Downing Street before heading to Chequers with his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds.

April 26: Mr Johnson arrives back in Number 10 as he prepares to return to work. 

Some questioned why the PM had adopted a business-as-usual approach to governing after putting the rest of the UK on lockdown, with Mr Johnson accused of not following his own advice.

The House of Commons continued to sit, with Cabinet meetings and daily press briefings held in person throughout the first weeks of March. 

Mr Johnson was seen in person on April 2, after stepped outside No.11 Downing Street to clap for carers. 

He told those gathered outside: ‘I am not allowed out really, I am just standing here.’ 

The next day he issued a plea for people to stay at home and save lives, as he was still suffering from a temperature.

He urged people not to break social distancing rules as the weather warmed up, even if they were going ‘a bit stir crazy’. 

On April 4, then-pregnant Carrie Symonds, 32, said she was ‘on the mend’ after suffering coronavirus symptoms herself.

Shortly after the PM’s announcement on March 27, Ms Symonds – who usually lives with him in the No.11 flat – shared a photograph of herself self-isolating in Camberwell, south London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn.

Just days later on April 5 Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests. 

On April 6 Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.

‘I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.

‘Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.’

Just hours later, Downing Street said the Prime Minister’s condition had worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he had been moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Dr Richard Leach, senior clinician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, was responsible for the Prime Minister’s coronavirus recovery, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A veteran physician, colleagues night waxed lyrical over the ‘brilliant doctor’ who has ‘saved thousands of lives’ during his medical career on April 7.

Ms Symonds says in the video: 'You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it's because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy

Ms Symonds says in the video: ‘You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it’s because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy

The Prime Minister then adds: 'Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas' Hospital who saved my life

The Prime Minister then adds: ‘Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital who saved my life

‘He’s the most knowledgeable respiratory specialist in the country, and he’s a straight talker,’ said one.

‘He would find the attention mortifying, but the Prime Minister couldn’t be in better hands.’

Medics at the hospital who have worked alongside Dr Leach assured that his expertise meant he was best-equipped to oversee the PM’s treatment.

Dr Leach has worked at the central London hospital for 26 years and in 2018 was made director for pulmonary and critical care medicine.

His encyclopaedic knowledge of the respiratory system has even been laid down in five leading textbooks.  

While Dr Leach had reportedly assumed ultimate responsibility over Mr Johnson’s treatment, hospital sources warned against exaggerating how hands-on a role he was playing. 

On April 7 Downing Street said the PM’s condition remained ‘stable’ and he was in ‘good spirits’ following his first night in intensive care, but he would need to remain there for ‘close monitoring’. 

The next day the Prime Minister was said to be ‘responding to treatment’ after a second night in intensive care.

Downing Street said he remained in a stable condition.

'There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny,' Mr Johnson said

‘There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny,’ Mr Johnson said

Chancellor Rishi Sunak later told the daily coronavirus press briefing that Mr Johnson was still in intensive care, but had been sitting up in bed and engaging with his clinical team.  

On April 9, the Prime Minister was moved out of intensive care and went into a normal ward.

He was discharged two days later on April 11 and thanked NHS staff for saving his life in a video recorded from Downing Street before heading to Chequers with his then-pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds.

He returned to Number 10 on April 26 and Ms Symonds gave birth in London on April 30, with the Prime Minister at her side. 

In a heart-warming Instagram post revealing the boy’s name on Saturday, Ms Symonds revealed that the middle name Nicholas was a tribute to two NHS doctors, Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart, who ‘saved Boris’ life last month’ following his battle with coronavirus. 

The first name is a tribute to Mr Johnson’s paternal grandfather, Osman Wilfred Kemal, and Lawrie a reference to Ms Symonds’ grandfather. 

Accompanying the caption was a photograph in which the first-time mother was seen tightly cradling her son, who sported an extraordinary full head of hair not dissimilar to that of his father.

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple's first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple’s first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later

The 32-year-old fiancee of Mr Johnson, who said ‘my heart is full’ in the caption, also revealed for the first time that Wilfred had been born at the maternity wing of the NHS’s University College Hospital in central London.

The caption read: ‘Introducing Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas born on 29.04.20 at 9am. Wilfred after Boris’ grandfather Lawrie after my grandfather Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors that saved Boris’ life last month.

‘Thank you so, so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH that looked after us so well. I couldn’t be happier. My heart is full.’ 

It was also revealed that Boris Johnson received a congratulatory phone call from the Duke of Cambridge on Friday afternoon, with a record of their conversation recorded as an official event in the Court Circular. 

Dr Richard Leach, senior clinician at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, was responsible for the Prime Minister's coronavirus recovery and had been at his bedside

Dr Richard Leach, senior clinician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, was responsible for the Prime Minister’s coronavirus recovery and had been at his bedside

Among the first to send their well-wishes following the announcement were Dr Nick Price and Prof Nick Hart, who said they were ‘honoured and humbled’ to serve as the inspiration for the newborn’s middle name Nicholas.

They said in a statement: ‘Our warm congratulations go to the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds on the happy arrival of their beautiful son Wilfred.

‘We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised in this way, and we give our thanks to the incredible team of professionals who we work with at Guy’s at St Thomas’ and who ensure every patient receives the best care.

‘We wish the new family every health and happiness.’ 

There was also a message of congratulations from the University College Hospital, where Wilfred was born.

UCLH chief executive Professor Marcel Levi said: ‘Congratulations to Carrie Symonds and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the birth of their son. We wish them every happiness at this special time.

‘I would like to thank the teams who cared for Carrie and her baby. 

‘They are an incredibly skilled, dedicated and compassionate group of professionals who put patients at the heart of everything they do.

‘I am very proud of them and all our staff at UCLH who are working extremely hard in very difficult circumstances at the moment.’ 

Elsewhere in the Sunday broadcast, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will present a special recognition award to NHS staff.

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2020 will be broadcast on ITV at 9pm on Sunday.

Boris Johnson participated in the 'Clap for our Carers' outside No11 Downing Street on April 2

Boris Johnson participated in the ‘Clap for our Carers’ outside No11 Downing Street on April 2

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