KATE Middleton and Prince William have thanked Canadian healthcare workers via a moving video call in honour of Canada Day today.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard the “heartbreaking” stories of how staff have coped with the coronavirus outbreak at Fraser Health’s Surrey Memorial Hospital, British Columbia.
Speaking from their home, Anmer Hall, Prince William, 38, and Kate, 38, spoke of their hopes of visiting the country after lockdown.
William told the team: “I just wanted to just touch base and say how proud we are of all of you and everyone on the front line who have led the way, very stoically, very bravely and put patient care right at the top of the list, and done a fantastic job.
“So, well done to all of you, and I hope Catherine and I can come and visit you guys one day and say that to you in person.”
Kate added: “It’s an amazing role that you’re playing and a hugely tough one as well, so we’re in huge admiration for everything you’re doing.”
The duchess was particularly moved by a “heartbreaking” story of a patient’s wife who had sung to her ill husband down the phone which was contained in a protective bag, in order to stay connected.
The mum-of-three said: “That’s heartbreaking to hear. You guys see that and feel that on a daily basis.
“How do you manage yourself? Are you all OK?”
During the call, Dr Gregory Haljan, head of the hospital’s critical care, and regional medical director for research for Fraser Health, told the royal couple: “We’ve made it through the surge and now we’re into the recovery phase where we’re trying to take stock of all our stories and what we’ve been through and find the meaning in everything we’ve lost and everything we’ve gained so we can build some resilience for whatever comes next.”
The couple also spoke to health care social worker Sunny Dulai, who is six months pregnant.
Sunny said the coronavirus crisis has affected her mental as she has been unable to see her family.
Sunny said: “Initially I was like ‘No I can do this,’ emotionally, it wasn’t really impacting me.
“Then as I got later in my pregnancy and the more the pandemic started to move along, it really did impact my mental health.
“I felt like I was angrier because I didn’t have the support networks at home that I typically have.
“But I never once felt that I needed to stop working where I work, because of the support I got from my team.”
The Duchess told Sunny: “Good luck Sunny going forward with your new baby.”
The video call took place on June 23 but was shared today in honour of Canada’s national day, which is celebrated annually on July 1.
Canada is particularly special for William and Kate, and it is where they did their first major royal tour as newlyweds in July 2011.
They also got to celebrate the country’s national day during the visit.
The duke and duchess also toured Canada as a family in 2016, taking with them Prince George, then three, and a 16-month-old Princess Charlotte.
Their third child Prince Louis was born in April 2018.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry lived on Vancouver Island in Canada for a few months before moving to LA with Archie after stepping down as senior royals.
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