April 10, 2020 | 8:46am | Updated April 10, 2020 | 12:07pm
A 99-year-old vet who survived being a Nazi prisoner of war has recovered from the coronavirus, and will return to his home in England Friday, hospital officials said.
Albert Chambers, a former British Army soldier who was wounded during World War II and held in a Nazi prison camp for three years, is returning to his Doncaster home Friday after defeating COVID-19 at Tickhill Road Hospital, where staffers released a video Thursday ahead of his departure.
“There’s nothing I can say,” Chambers told a nurse at the hospital. “Thank you very much and I appreciate every bit you’ve done for me. You couldn’t have been better.”
Chambers, who also served as a soldier in the Coldstream Guards and at one point protected Buckingham Palace, was hospitalized after falling at home about three weeks ago. He later started showing signs of the virus and a test confirmed he had picked up the bug, hospital officials said.
“When I get home I’m going to tell all of my neighbors how marvelous the nurses are here,” Chambers said in a statement released by the hospital. “I want to say ‘thank you very much’ to them. I appreciate every bit of what they have done for me. They couldn’t have been any better. I’ve been well kept and well looked after.”
Chamber’s grandson, Stephen Gater, said his “amazing” grandfather relied on his past as a soldier to beat COVID-19.
“He’s pretty incredible,” Gater said. “He’s not only survived the war and being in prison camp, now he’s won the battle with coronavirus.”
Gater, 49, told CNN that Chamber’s “fortitude” from his experience during WWII was invaluable in his fight against the illness.
“It’s nice to have some positive news in the midst of what is a difficult time for everybody,” Gater told CNN. “When we heard the news, we feared the worst, but he’s pulled through and it’s amazing — the staff there are incredible and we owe them a huge amount of gratitude. We were clapping very ferociously last night at 8 o’clock along with everyone else.”
A nurse who cared for Chambers, meanwhile, had nothing but praise for the 99-year-old vet.
“Albert has been a wonderful patient,” nurse Paige Lax said. “He’s fought to get better. He wanted to get back home. He’s pretty amazing.”