Boris out of hospital: ‘It could have gone either way’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says "it could have gone either way" for him while he was in hospital being treated for coronavirus last week.

"It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS (National Health Service) for saving my life," he said in a video message posted on Twitter on Sunday (local time), shortly after it was announced he had been discharged from St Thomas' hospital in London.

He thanked everyone in Britain for following social distancing guidelines and said he believed the efforts being made by the whole country were worth it. The prime minister said he had personally "seen the pressure the NHS is under" while at St Thomas' Hospital in central London for the past week. Johnson mentioned by name several nurses who had watched over him all night to ensure he survived his coronavirus symptoms.


Boris Johnson spoke to the British people via a video message after he was released from hospital. Picture: AP
Boris Johnson spoke to the British people via a video message after he was released from hospital. Picture: AP

"And 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," he said in the video

"They are Jenny from New Zealand - Invercargill on the South Island to be exact - and Luis from Portugal, near Porto."

"And 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."


Meanwhile, Mr Johnson's pregnant fiancee has thanked the "magnificent" British health system as he was let out of hospital after a harrowing week fighting coronavirus.

The British Prime Minister was released from St Thomas' Hospital on Easter Sunday, after spending three nights in intensive care earlier this week.

Ms Symonds, 32, who is due in early June, was overjoyed on Sunday night.

"I cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough. The staff at St Thomas' Hospital have been incredible," she said.

"I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you."

And the environment campaigner said that she had been worried.




"There 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," Ms Symonds said.

Mr Johnson's ministers were worried he had a 50-50 chance of survival earlier this week.

He managed to escape needing a ventilator and has shown a remarkable improvement.

But it was likely weeks, if not months before he would be allowed to return to work, with colleagues worried he pushed himself too hard when he first became sick.

He will rest up at the Prime Minister's residence at Chequers, while his cabinet considers when to end the UK lockdown.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The prime minister has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers.

"On the advice of his medical team, the prime minister will not be immediately returning to work.

"He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas' for the brilliant care he has received.

"All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness."




Chequers is the country estate of the British Prime Minister and was likely a place that Mr Johnson, 55, could avoid the temptation of working.

He has been separated from Ms Symonds for almost a month as the couple follow the UK's social distancing rules.

It was unclear if Ms Symonds would join him at Chequers because she was in a high-risk category and may need hospital care.

She too had the virus, although there are no signs that coronavirus causes significant problems in pregnant women, and has been resting up.




The UK has banned people from visiting second homes so a visit from Ms Symonds may be delicate when the government has been asking people to follow the stay at home rules.

Almost 10,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, with fears that it could become the hardest hit in Europe as Italy and Spain's outbreaks take small steps towards coming under control.

Ministers have been breathing a sigh of relief at Mr Johnson's recovery after earlier this week discussing the odds of people who were hospitalised with coronavirus.



George Brandis, Australian High Commissioner to the UK, said:

"I'm sure all Australians in the UK will join me in rejoicing that Prime Minister Johnson is out of danger and has now been released from hospital. We look forward to his swift recovery, and the early resumption of his role as leader of the nation at this critical time."

Originally published as Boris out of hospital: 'It could have gone either way'