76°F
weather icon Clear

Boris Johnson says doctors prepared his death announcement

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered more insight into his hospitalization for coronavirus, telling a British newspaper that he knew doctors were preparing for the worst.

The 55-year-old Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care during his week of treatment in a London hospital after falling ill with COVID-19, told The Sun newspaper he was aware that doctors were discussing his fate.

“It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” he said. “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.”

Johnson couldn’t believe how quickly his health had deteriorated and had difficulty understanding why he wasn’t getting better. Medical workers gave him “liters and liters of oxygen” but he said the “indicators kept going in the wrong direction.’

“But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,” he told the newspaper. “That was when it got a bit … they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”

The remarks were Johnson’s most candid yet on his brush with death, though he acknowledged when he left the hospital that his fight to survive “could have gone either way,″ as he paid tribute to the two nurses who never left his bedside for 48 hours.

Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from Portugal, he said, embodied the caring and sacrifice of National Health Service staff on the front lines of the pandemic, which has already killed 28,131 people in Britain.

Johnson’s close call is reflected in the name that he and fiancée Carrie Symonds gave to their newborn son. Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was named after Johnson and Symonds’ grandfathers and after Dr. Nick Price and Dr. Nick Hart — the two doctors who saved the prime minister’s life.

Johnson’s actions since leaving the hospital suggest the NHS has a powerful new advocate as it seeks to reverse a decade of austerity that has left Britain’s doctors and nurses struggling to treat the flood of coronavirus patients with inadequate supplies of protective gear. Dozens of NHS workers have died in the outbreak.

The interview follows an emotional video made by Johnson after being released from the hospital on April 12.

Johnson called the NHS “unconquerable” and “the beating heart of this country” after seeing its response to the outbreak first-hand. He also lauded the courage of everyone from doctors to cooks.

The prime minister returned to work on April 27.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
 
Space tourists end trip safely off Florida coast

Four space tourists safely ended their trailblazing trip to orbit Saturday with a splashdown in the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

Wildfires make run toward giant sequoia groves in California

Two lightning-sparked wildfires in California merged and made a run to the edge of a grove of ancient sequoias, momentarily driving away firefighters as they try to protect the world’s tallest tree by wrapping its base in protective foil.

 
Small earthquake rattles Los Angeles area

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake struck an area south of Los Angeles on Friday evening but there were no immediate reports of any injuries of serious damage.

 
Robert Durst found guilty in death of Las Vegas mob writer

A Los Angeles jury convicted Robert Durst on Friday of murdering his best friend 20 years ago, a case that took on new life after the New York real estate heir participated in a documentary that connected him to the slaying that was linked to his wife’s 1982 disappearance.

Panel recommends COVID boosters only for elderly, high-risk

An influential federal advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans, but it endorsed the extra shots for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

Giant sequoia trees threatened by California wildfires

Multiple forest fires on Thursday were threatening groves of gigantic sequoias in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains that are home to some of the world’s largest trees.

 
4 amateurs launched on private Earth-circling trip

SpaceX’s first private flight streaked into orbit Wednesday night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism.

Former Washoe superintendent takes top job in Chicago schools

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot named San Antonio schools Superintendent Pedro Martinez Wednesday as the new CEO of the nation’s third-largest school district.