In an exclusive interview to mark the NHS’s 73rd birthday, Russell Brand and his mum Babs have paid tribute to Barts Charity and the East London hospital staff who saved Babs’s life.
In 2018 Babs was involved in a serious road accident and was rushed to The Royal London Hospital with life-threatening injuries including a broken neck, back, and ankle and a perforated bowel.
Russell stayed by her side as she went through various operations to save her life – and all of this just weeks after she had finished chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
In the video, Babs, who shares the NHS’s birthday and turns 75 on Monday 5th July, says: “I had a serious road accident 3 years ago and was transferred from our local hospital to The Royal London. I don’t remember very much about actually being there, but my injuries were life threatening, so The Royal London actually saved my life.
“Additionally, I was very young when I first had cancer, I was 37, and I’ve got a history of cancer. I really want to say thank you to the NHS because they’ve been absolutely amazing and we’re very, very lucky to live in a country where we have such an amazing service.”
Russell recalls the harrowing phone call he received soon after his mum’s accident happened, and rushing to see his mum in hospital: “I remember it as a very traumatic situation, but also it was a time characterised by the expertise and excellence of those people that were working at the NHS. I remember the head of nursing was terrific, the head of the hospital, all them people were there and they were all fantastic.”
Throughout the video, filmed exclusively for Barts Charity, the pair repeatedly thank the NHS and encourage others to support our badge campaign in support of East London’s NHS.
Russell says: “What we want to do is express our gratitude to the NHS and the Barts Charity for all the great work they’ve done. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the work the NHS has done over the course of my life. I was born in an NHS hospital, my mum’s life’s been saved by the NHS on numerous occasions. The NHS is a great proud treasure of this nation, perhaps the pinnacle of this nation’s welfare achievements. This is why we’re wearing these badges.”
As well as thanking The Royal London staff who provided lifesaving care – from the surgeons, to ward staff, to the people who brought her food – Babs talks about some of the ways Barts Charity has had an impact on East London’s NHS, including funding for:
• iPads for Covid patients to speak with their families during the pandemic
• beds which help patients transition from a lying to a sitting position (see page 13 here)
• research into the effects of trauma in elderly patients
Get your free Barts Charity badge now, and join Russell and Babs in showing your support for East London’s NHS
RT @smarino0111: Our paper @clairevinel3 is out today in @NatureComms @blizard_inst @QMULBartsTheLon @QMUL with thanks to collab…