On St George’s Day I was struggling to find things to be proud about being British but just about managed to scrape together a top ten list.
Today I read something that made me really proud, here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Boris Johnson’s intensive care nurses have spoken for the first time and revealed how the Prime Minister thanked them for saving his life.
Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from west London but originally from Portugal, cared for Boris Johnson during his three days in intensive care.
Mr Pitarma, a critical care nurse, said he was delighted when the Prime Minister thanked him in person before leaving the unit.
He said: “He thanked me for saving his life. I felt extremely proud for someone like him to recognise the quality of the job I’d done. I was very happy with his words, they were very kind. I hope I can meet him again one day when he is fully recovered”
Mr Pitarma, who has worked at St Thomas’ for nearly four years, said: “I was changing into my scrubs before my night shift when the matron called me over and told me the Prime Minister was about to come to ICU.
“I had been chosen to look after him because they were confident I would cope with the situation well.” Mr Pitarma, who spent three nights by Mr Johnson’s side said the responsibility was “overwhelming” but that the Prime Minister helped put him at ease.
“I asked how he would like to be addressed and he said to call him Boris. That made me feel less nervous because he took away any formality. He said he just wanted to be looked after like anyone else,” he said.
Where else in the world would a country’s leader go to the same hospital to be looked after by the same nurses who are there to care for everyone, rich or poor?
What other world leader when confronted by the most frightening moment of his life would not try to pull rank and demand to be treated differently?
The story’s appeal for me is enhanced further by the fact that both his key carers were from overseas choosing to work in a multicultural country that genuinely welcomes migrants.
It’s easy to be cynical and it is true that Boris’ care was overseen by the country’s leading lung specialist but this story genuinely moved me.
Boris is back tomorrow, so it is rumoured, and I’m looking forward to his ebullient self carrying us through what will hopefully be the last few weeks of lockdown.