Boris Johnson has admitted he feared he wouldn’t get to meet his son after he was transferred to the intensive care unit due to his coronavirus illness.
The prime minister had been out of hospital for less than three weeks before his fiancé Carrie Symonds gave birth to their son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson on 29 April.
In an interview with The Sun On Sunday he revealed he was worried he’d never meet his son after being transferred to ICU in a bid to battle COVID-19.
“We’ve all got a lot to live for, a lot to do, and I won’t hide it from you, I was thinking about that, yes,” he said.
Despite the severity of his coronavirus illness, Johnson said he maintained a relatively sunny outlook throughout, focusing on “positive thoughts”.
“I suppose there was some terrible, as I say, some natural buoyancy or refusal to give in or harbour negative thoughts,” he said.
“I never really thought that I wouldn’t come back from it. It was more frustration.”
On 2 May, Symonds, 32, shared the baby’s name on her Instagram account along with a photo.
The baby’s first two names are from their grandfathers, while “Nicholas” is a tribute to the NHS doctors who treated Johnson while he was in hospital, Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart.
Alongside the photo, Symonds wrote: “Introducing Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson born on 29.04.20 at 9am. Thank you so, so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH that looked after us so well. I couldn't be happier. My heart is full.”
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Symonds took part in the clap for key workers that takes place every Thursday at 8pm.
In her first tweet post-birth, she wrote: “Clapping again for our tremendous carers tonight and wishing hero @captaintommoore a very happy birthday. I also have another wonderful reason to thank the NHS this week too Thank you so, so much!”
Clapping again for our tremendous carers tonight and wishing hero @captaintommoore a very happy birthday.
I also have another wonderful reason to thank the NHS this week too 👶
Thank you so, so much! 👏👏👏👏👏🌈🌈🌈🌈
— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) April 30, 2020
Her birth came at a difficult time for expectant mothers, with the rules around giving birth and pregnancy changing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some health authorities are now asking pregnant women to attend antenatal appointments alone, and in some hospitals birth partners will no longer be able to visit antenatal and postnatal wards, in a bid to protect mothers and newborn babies from the spread of coronavirus.
One positive development in recent days has been that fertility treatments will soon be back up and running following a suspension of services since 23 March.
Patients will be allowed to attend fertility appointments from 11 May.