Princess Eugenie and her family were told to "prepare for the worst" after her father-in-law was struck down by COVID-19. George Brooksbank was put on a ventilator for five weeks following a trip to France, but the 71-year-old has thankfully recovered from the life-threatening illness. Eugenie and the Brooksbank family were said to be relieved after George overcame the virus, and he has now spoken about his "incredible" treatment, thanking NHS staff for saving his life.
WATCH: The effects COVID-19 has on the body
MORE: Princess Eugenie supports 'special mum' Sarah Ferguson's latest venture
"The point I really want to get across is that I think the NHS is absolutely magnificent," he said. "The way I was treated was incredible. Nothing was too much trouble and at no point did I get a sense of a shortage of doctors or nurses or any impression that the service was in any way overwhelmed."
The retired chartered accountant added: "There was always somebody at hand. I want to offer profound thanks to everyone who was involved. It was a real eye-opener for somebody who has not been in hospital before for any length of time. I certainly owe them my life."
George, whose son Jack married Eugenie in 2018, fell ill in mid-March after a trip to France and ended up being in hospital for nine weeks, said a spokesman for Eugenie's mother Sarah, Duchess of York. He was on a ventilator for five weeks at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank married in 2018
MORE: Inside Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's home at Royal Lodge Windsor
After a tracheotomy, his condition gradually improved and he was moved to a ward at the Royal Brompton Hospital which specialised in heart and lung conditions in people recovering from Covid-19. He then underwent a further period of rehabilitation at an institution in Roehampton. George is now "absolutely fine", attributing his recovery to the several weeks of recuperation in hospital.
George's wife, who also contracted the disease but is recovering at home without hospital treatment, echoed her husband's tribute to the NHS for saving his life. She said: "Without doubt, they saved him, and we could not be more grateful. We were not able to see him throughout his treatment and more than once we were told to expect the worst."
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.