British PM Boris Johnson nominates Kiwi nurse for top award after saving his life
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thanked Kiwi nurse “Jenny from Invercargill” for “saving his life” by nominating her for a high-profile award.
Johnson earlier this year singled out nurse Jenny McGee for helping treat him when he fell seriously ill with Covid-19.
McGee was one of two nurses who stood by his bedside at St Thomas’ Hospital for 48 hours in April “when things could have gone either way”.
They were the reason that “in the end, my body did start to get enough oxygen”, he told reporters.
Now Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds have nominated McGee and fellow nurse Luis Pitarma for the Pride of Britain awards, which celebrate “the achievements of truly remarkable people” and are watched by around five million people each year.
“I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital, who saved my life,” Johnson said in a pre-recorded video to be played at the awards.
“There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny.”
The couple also nominated the maternity team at St Thomas’ Hospital, who delivered their baby boy Wilfred in April just weeks after Johnson was hospitalised with Covid-19.
The pre-recorded message was Johnson and Symonds’ first joint television appearance.
They used it to thank all British health workers.
“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,” Symonds said.
“As a family we have so much to be thankful to the NHS for and we will never stop being grateful.”
Nurse McGee earlier met with Johnson at 10 Downing St in July after the recovered British Prime Minister invited her along in person to say thank you.
Twitter pictures posted by Johnson showed him sharing a joke with McGee and fellow nurse Pitarma while sipping tea.
The 35-year-old McGee earlier kept vigil at Johnson’s bedside for two days as he lay in intensive care.
“We were constantly observing, we’re constantly monitoring,” she told news outlet TVNZ.
When asked if she was nervous to be tending the PM, McGee said she’d been working in intensive care for 10 years and “was not fazed”.
Johnson was treated no different to other patients at the NHS, McGee said.
McGee also said at the time she was thrilled to receive a message of support from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“She said how proud she was of me and the country was so proud. It’s so heartwarming and something I’ll never forget,” McGee told TVNZ.
Jenny’s brother Rob McGee told the Herald she’d made her family proud.
“We are all very proud of Jen, not just in the support she gave Boris – but what she has been doing helping everyday people,” he said.
Johnson first tested positive for Covid-19 on March 26 and was moved to the St Thomas’ Hospital intensive care ward on April 6.
He left intensive care on April 9 and arrived home at 10 Downing St on April 26.
His fiancée Symonds gave birth to baby Wilfred days later on April 30.
Symonds posted to Instagram soon after that the couple had given Wilfred the middle name Nicholas in tribute to two doctors – Dr Nick Price and Professor Nick Hart – who saved Johnson’s life.
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