The Duke of Cambridge has met some of the UK’s bravest emergency responders and most skilled medics and scientists at the Who Cares Wins awards.
At the event in north London, hosted by the Sun, the duke heard tales of medical marvels, fearless children and an air ambulance paramedic forced to defibrillate a donkey.
William heard from Captain Shaun Rose, a pilot with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) team.
The team was recognised for the “nerve-shredding” rescue of Highlands walker Duncan Stevenson, who “died seven times” while flying through a snow storm to hospital.
Capt Rose and his wife Mandy revealed they had successfully resuscitated a donkey with a defibrillator after it got too close to a helicopter landing.
“No mouth to mouth though?” the Duke joked.
Elsewhere, one of the youngest nominees was Lucas Palmer, eight, who saved his four-year-old brother Louis’ life after he fell into a freezing cold river by diving in to help him.
Also nominated was Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, from King’s College Hospital, who operated on a violinist who played throughout her brain surgery to ensure her brain was not damaged during the procedure.
The duke said: “Did you make sure she played a calm and quiet piece?”
He mimed wild violin playing, adding: “Not something fast otherwise you’d have your hands going around.”
William also spoke with Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne, founders of Open Bionics, which created the “Hero Arm” – a lightweight and affordable prosthesis for below-elbow amputees.
The arm now comes in a range of Disney colours for children.
One attendee, nine-year-old Phoebe Sinclair, showed him her high-tech robotic arm, smiling as he asked: “Do your friends think it’s so cool?”
Members of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine team received a nomination for the “groundbreaking pioneer or discovering team”.
William said he had been impressed to see the UK “punching above its weight” in research, adding: “In all these areas, the world is watching us now.”
Also nominate in the groundbreaking team category was Major Emma Allen MBE.
She was drafted in to help South Coast Ambulance Service (SCAS) when they reached a crisis point during the pandemic, mobilising 12,000 military personnel to help drive ambulances, work in control rooms and answer 999 calls.
The Duke bonded with her and husband Major James Allen over his own inability to find his way around an ambulance, despite his experience as a first responder.