Emma Willis pens heartfelt letter to NHS following life-saving surgery

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Kayleigh Dray
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Emma Willis has thanked the NHS staff who helped to save her life after she was rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains last week.

The 41-year-old presenter shared a photograph of herself on Instagram smiling next to her surgeon, Marco Venza, after he performed emergency surgery on her appendix.

“It’s been a funny old week,” she writes. “A week ago yesterday, I was meant to take [my husband] Matt Willis on a surprise birthday trip to Ibiza. Instead, at 6am, I entered Barnet General A&E with a stomach ache that was getting progressively worse.”

Willis went on to explain that she had initially been concerned that she was “wasting” the valuable time of hospital staff, writing: “I thought I may be wasting everyone's time with a bad case of trapped wind, but 9 hours later, I was wheeled into theatre and what they found was a horribly infected appendix.”

Willis went on to personally thank all of the doctors and nurses who were involved in helping her though her surgery and putting her “at ease.”

“The man in this picture was my surgeon, Marco Venza,” revealed The Voice presenter. “He, and his team, were incredible. Thank you so, so much for taking care of me and for putting me at ease every time I panicked!”

Willis continued: “Thank you to Amy, Scarlet, Karen, Caroline, Sophia, Jan, Mary-Beth, Gemma, Maha, Clement, Gabriel, and all the other brilliant and kind people who work on Damson ward.

“And finally, to everyone working their butts off within the NHS fighting to make it work, thank YOU!”

Appendicitis is a painful swelling of the appendix. According to the NHS, it typically starts with a pain in the middle of your stomach, which gradually travels down the lower-right hand side and becomes more constant and severe.

They add:You should call 999 for an ambulance if you have sudden pain that continues to get worse and spreads across your abdomen.

“These are signs your appendix may have burst, which can lead to potentially life-threatening complications.”

Willis is not the first of The Voice’s stars to pen a missive to the NHS: Paloma Faith similarly made sure to express her gratitude to our National Health Service following the birth of her first child in 2016.

The Only Love Can Hurt Like This singer wrote: “After a difficult labour, resulting in an emergency C-section, I gave birth to my first child, with whom I am over the moon, in love, and delighted.”

Faith continued: “The devotion, kindness, and commitment shown by all of them was second to none, and I am humbled by the whole experience.

“I really believe the NHS to be one of the greatest achievements of this country, and it should be respected and protected by all.

“I am humbled by the unfaltering dedication I witnessed and received there,” finished Faith, “so thank you to the NHS, Melissa Whitten, Georgia Seiti, Wendy Hill, all in the Foetal Assessment Unit, and the Maternity Care Units. And god bless the NHS!”

We couldn’t agree more.

Images: Instagram / Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.