Prince Harry is set to fulfil his promise to US soldier Sergeant Elizabeth Marks by presenting her Invictus Games medal to staff from the British hospital that saved her life. Elizabeth had asked Harry to donate the gold medal she won for the 100m freestyle swimming event at the Invictus Games in May, saying it was her chance to "give something back".
During a meeting at Kensington Palace, Harry will greet members of staff from Papworth Hospital in Cambridge who treated Elizabeth when she collapsed with a serious lung condition and was placed on life support for ten days. The Prince will also hand over the medal as a thank you gesture for the lifesaving treatment they administered to the soldier in 2014.
Prince Harry will donate Elizabeth's medal to Papworth Hospital on Wednesday
Elizabeth, 25, handed the medal back to the Prince shortly after he presented it to her during the Invictus Games in Orlando.
"Please, give it to them," she said. "Are you sure?" asked Harry, before accepting the medal.
The Paralympic swimming champion, from Arizona, explained: "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."
Elizabeth won a gold medal for the 100m freestyle swimming event at the Invictus Games
Fighting back tears she paid tribute to the hospital, saying: "Thank you, I'll never be able to repay you, but what you're doing is wonderful.
"It's just an honour to be here and stand next to all the other soldiers, I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be."
She added: "I was a little apprehensive, I was nervous because of what had happened last time but I was eager to perform and show my team and show the other countries how much I love their support.
Elizabeth said she wanted to "give something back" to Papworth Hospital
"When I came out of my coma to see all the pictures of them supporting me while I was there, without even knowing I was in that state, made me cry like a baby so it was a chance to give something back."
When the hospital first heard that Elizabeth had donated her medal, they issued a statement thanking their former patient. Dr Roger Hall, medical director at Papworth Hospital, said it was "extremely generous and unexpected" while Claire Tripp, interim chief executive, said they would like to meet with Elizabeth to thank her in person.
Elizabeth joined the US army aged 17. She suffered a serious hip injury in 2010, which left her with no sensation in her left leg, but she has since come back fighting and still serves in the military.