In the space of just over a fortnight Boris Johnson has come to owe the NHS an enormous debt of gratitude.

Not just for saving his own life, but also for ushering his new son into the world.

Allies say his recent experiences have given him a “renewed understanding” of just how vital the NHS can be.

After the birth of a baby boy in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Prime Minister and his fiance Carrie Symonds issued a statement expressing their gratitude to the “fantastic NHS maternity team” who cared for them.

Just 17 days after the Prime Minister’s life hung in the balance, No 10 received delivery of crates of champagne to toast the happy occasion.

Mr Johnson was whisked to hospital on April 6 for what was billed as “routine tests” but his condition soon worsened.

By the end of the day he was in intensive care and given oxygen as his condition worryingly deteriorated.

During his seven nights in St Thomas’ Hospital he clearly built up a close rapport with those at his bedside – in particular, two immigrant nurses; Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal.

After being discharged, Mr Johnson thanked the two medics “who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way”.

He said: “The reason in the end 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.”

Mr Johnson had already committed to a £34 billion spending package for the NHS, but his recent experiences are likely to mean a further loosening of Treasury purse strings.

“The NHS has saved my life, no question,” he said in a video statement.

Speaking about the country’s ongoing battle with coronavirus, he said: “We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. 

“It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.”

Ms Symonds paid her own tribute to “our magnificent NHS” once her fiance was released. 

She said: “The staff at St Thomas’ Hospital have been incredible. 

“I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you.”

Just hours before the birth of their child, Mr Johnson was photographed looking uncharacteristically somber as he practiced a minute’s silence for a tribute to the key workers who have died in the fight against the coronavirus.

“The nation will not forget you,” he said.

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