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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Pippa Fowles - Handout/Getty Images

World leaders praise two nurses credited with saving British PM’s life

Boris Johnson made international headlines earlier this month when he contracted COVID-19, and now, discussing his recovery, the British Prime Minister has credited two nurses with saving his life.

In a public statement, Johnson said: “The reason in the end that my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed.”

Johnson singled out two nurses – who he said stood by his bedside for 48 hours when “things could have gone either way” – Jenny from Invercargill, New Zealand and Luís from Portugal.

New Zealand media identified ‘Jenny’ as Jenny McGee.

McGee’s brother told the NZ Herald that she had been "blown away" by Johnson’s public praise.

The nation’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reached out to McGee on Facebook but said she has yet to receive a response.

"Nor would I expect to hear back from her necessarily at all,” Ardern said. "She’s obviously on the frontline and I imagine will be very focused on her job.”

Meanwhile, ‘Luís’ was revealed to be Luís Pitarma. Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa phoned Pitarma after Johnson’s announcement to personally thank him.

In a statement, the president's office said: "The president of the Republic underlines the special recognition presented today by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Portuguese nurse Luis Pitarma for his work and vigilance during hospitalisation in intensive care."

Johnson will not immediately return to work and will instead head to his official country residents to rest and recuperate.

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