Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered more insight into his hospitalisation 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 “litres and litres 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.”
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 Associated Press)