Prince Harry given gold medal by US swimmer at Invictus Games
An American swimmer who won four gold medals at the Invictus Games asked Prince Harry to give one of her trophies to the British medical team who saved her life.
Sgt Elizabeth Marks was nursed back to health by staff from Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire two years ago after she collapsed with a serious lung condition just as she was about to compete in the sporting event in London in 2014.
The 25-year-old combat medic – who suffered a hip injury in 2010 and was left with no sensation in her left leg – doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to thank the NHS for ultimately saving her life but has asked the 31-year-old royal to pass on one of the medals she won at the sporting event in Florida earlier this week as a way of showing her gratitude.
According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, she said: “I landed in London and became very ill, very rapidly, I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome. They shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life. I was on it for 10 days and ended up waking in an army hospital in Germany having no idea what had happened.
“But they absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me.
“So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth. Thank you, I’ll never be able to repay you, but what you’re doing is wonderful.”
The Invictus Games – a four-day sporting contest for injured service personnel from 14 countries – is currently taking place in Orlando following its debut in the UK in 2014.