British PM thanks Kiwi Nurse Jenny

Boris Johnson shares a joke with nurses Luis Pitarma and Jenny McGee. Photo: Boris Johnson/ Twitter
Boris Johnson shares a joke with nurses Luis Pitarma and Jenny McGee. Photo: Boris Johnson/ Twitter
Invercargill nurse Jenny McGee has enjoyed a reunion with her high-profile patient, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at Downing Street in London.

In a series of snaps released on Twitter Johnson is shown enjoying a cup of tea with intensive care nurse “Jenny from New Zealand” and Luis Pitarma from Portugal as the NHS marks 72 years of health care.

“This evening I was honoured to host those who looked after me at St Thomas’ Hospital, at Downing Street, as we celebrate 72 years of our incredible NHS,” Johnson wrote.

The pictures show Johnson, McGee and Pitarma sharing a joke, while enjoying high tea in the PM's backyard. They were also joined by doctors Nick Price and Nicholas Hart.

McGee and Pitarma were singled out by the 55-year-old British leader after he was treated for Covid-19 at St Thomas’ Hospital in April this year. He credited them both with saving his life, recounting how they sat by his bed over a critical time.

Johnson said McGee was one of the nurses integral to his recovery - after he spent three nights in intensive care, where he was given oxygen but was not on a ventilator.

McGee (35) has worked as an intensive care nurse for a decade. She later revealed how the pair talked about New Zealand and her home town of Invercargill in Southland.

“It was totally out of the blue,” she said of Johnson’s public message of praise.

McGee kept vigil at Johnson’s bedside for two days.

“We were constantly observing, we’re constantly monitoring,” she told Television New Zealand.

When asked if she was nervous to be tending to the Prime Minister, McGee said because of her experience she “was not fazed”.

The Prime Minister received no special treatment different to other patients at the NHS, McGee said, and the toughest part of that time was the speculation about Johnson’s his health.

“There was a lot of media interest in him being in hospital, and to be honest, that’s probably the toughest thing of the lot.”

Her efforts also won the praise of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who contacted McGee on Facebook.

“She said how proud she was of me and the country was so proud. It’s so heartwarming and something I’ll never forget.”

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