British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his personal battle with the coronavirus “could have gone either way” and said there was “no question” doctors saved his life, speaking in a candid video message after leaving hospital Sunday.
The UK leader checked into hospital a week ago and spent three days in intensive care after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of March, the most high-profile leader to come down with the virus.
Dressed in a suit and tie, Johnson thanked his doctors and vowed to help Britain defeat the virus as the country’s death toll topped 10,000 Sunday — a grim milestone only a handful of countries have passed.
“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,” said Johnson, referring to the state-run National Health Service (NHS) staff who cared for him at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.
He said he was discharged after “a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question”, and officials said he would now convalesce at Chequers, the country estate of British prime ministers, on the advice of his medical team.
“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 said of the medical staff.
He added that Britain “will defeat this coronavirus and defeat it together” as he implored citizens to maintain a nationwide lockdown imposed three weeks ago.