George Brooksbank is speaking out after spending nine weeks in the hospital with coronavirus

By Stephanie Petit
May 19, 2020 04:32 PM
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank; George Brooksbank
| Credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images; YUI MOK/AFP via Getty Images

Princess Eugenie's father-in-law says he owes his life to the U.K.'s National Health Service after battling coronavirus.

The family of George Brooksbank, the 71-year-old father of Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank, was told to "prepare for the worst" multiple times while he spent nine weeks in the hospital — including five weeks on a ventilator — with COVID-19 after a trip to France, according to The Telegraph.

His condition finally improved following a tracheotomy, and George credits his recovery to the staff at both the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London and the Royal Brompton Hospital.

"The point I really want to get across is that I think the NHS is absolutely magnificent," said George, according to The Telegraph. "The way I was treated was incredible. Nothing was too much trouble and at no point did I get a sense of a shortage of doctors or nurses or any impression that the service was in any way overwhelmed."

"I certainly owe them my life," he added.

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Princess Eugenie wedding
Nicola and George Brooksbank
| Credit: Press Association via AP Images

George, a retired chartered accountant and company director, continued his recovery at another hospital and is now feeling "absolutely fine."

"I'm walking around at the moment on one stick and I hope to get free of that next week," he said. "My breathing is back to normal and I count myself extremely lucky. My thoughts now are with those still battling this disease and the NHS staff risking their own lives to help them."

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie

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Jack's 66-year-old mother, Nicola, also contracted a less severe case of coronavirus and is recovering at home, thankful for her husband to still be alive.

"Without doubt, they saved him, and we could not be more grateful,” she said. "We were not able to see him throughout his treatment and more than once we were told to expect the worst."

Kate Middleton and Sophie Wessex team up for nurses
Princes Charles
| Credit: Kensington Palace

Eugenie's uncle, Prince Charles, also tested positive for coronavirus in March, and recently spoke out about his personal experience with the virus.

"Having recently gone through the process of contracting this coronavirus, luckily with relatively mild symptoms, I now find myself on the other side of the illness, but still in no less a state of social distance and general isolation,” the prince and heir to the throne, 71, said in a video message.

"At such an unprecedented and anxious time in all our lives, my wife and I are thinking particularly of all those who have lost their loved ones in such very difficult and abnormal circumstances, and of those having to endure sickness, isolation and loneliness," he added of wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who was found not to have the virus.

Princess Eugenie, 30, and Jack, 34, have made an extra effort to help those affected by the coronavirus. They recently volunteered together at the Salvation Army packing food for those in need.

Earlier this month, they helped relieve hospital workers who are on the front lines battling the coronavirus pandemic by dropping off a "delicious supply of healthy lunches" to a U.K. hospital. The couple, who wed in Oct. 2018 and recently celebrated 10 years of dating, was photographed alongside a staff member unloading the back of a car with masks on their faces in a photo shared on Twitter.

Eugenie also teamed up with her mother, Sarah Ferguson, to deliver supplies such as fresh fruit and vegetables as well as hand cream to frontline NHS staff at hospitals in London and around the country.

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