The parents of two nurses singled out by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for their care when he was suffering Covid-19 have expressed their pride in them.
Mr Johnson was rushed to St Thomas’s Hospital in London last week after his health deteriorated when he tested positive for the coronavirus last month.
He was taken to the intensive care unit at the hospital after his symptoms flared up but he recovered after three days.
Mr Johnson thanked New Zealand national Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma from Portugal in a video message, praising them as them outstanding caregivers.
Mr Pitarma and Ms McGee were barred from revealing their contact with Mr Johnson until he had left intensive care, in line with hospital regulations.
As a result, the nurses’ parents heard the news that they had been involved in his care only slightly ahead of the public.
Mr Pitarma’s father, also named Luis, told AP his son rang home before the release of Mr Johnson’s speech.
“He said, ‘Mum and Dad, you’ll never guess who I’ve been treating – the British prime minister,” Mr Pitarma said.
He said his son said Mr Johnson was very approachable, and when asked how he would like to be addressed the prime minister said: “Call me Boris, that’s enough.”
Ms McGee’s parents said they were "exceptionally proud" of their daughter’s dedication.
Mike and Caroline McGee told local broadcaster TVNZ that Jenny gave Mr Johnson the same level of care she would give to anyone.
Ms McGee said her daughter told them she had had a "most surreal experience" treating the prime minister.
Mr Johnson has since been discharged from hospital and has been recuperating at the prime minister’s country estate, Chequers, before returning to work.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputising for him.