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James McAvoy has revealed the NHS saved his life after he underwent “botched surgery”.
The 41-year-old X-Men star – who last month donated £275,000 to the Masks For NHS Heroes crowdfunding campaign – explained he wanted to do his bit to help provide healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic with personal protective equipment (PPE).
McAvoy told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think a lot of us are in that similar position… In a less developed society random everyday things might kill us… you can fall over and bang your head and you’ve got this beautiful thing called the NHS which will save your life.
“You can have a little botched surgery, which is what happened to me, and the NHS is there to save your life. You quickly realise in a situation like this, just how close we are to all of that falling apart, how delicate and how precious it is and how much we need to look after it going forward.”
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The Hollywood star has previously revealed he was seriously injured on the set of horror movie It Chapter 2 in 2018, tearing the quad muscles in both his legs and developing tendonitis for several months.
The Scottish actor – who has a nine-year-old son Brendan with actress Anne-Marie Duff – said that the coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the value of having the NHS.
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McAvoy said: “The NHS has been there for me from the day I was born. Throughout my life, me personally, they saved my life, which I won’t go into too much. For the lives of my loved ones and my family, you know, I would be without multiple members of my family and I mean close, close family if it weren’t for the work of the NHS.
“And as horrible as this experience is that we are all going through, it is teaching us just how important our welfare system is and our healthcare system is and how important it is that we respect, and that we reward and protect those who are in the business of protecting us.”
Masks For NHS Heroes – set up by four doctors to raise money for much-needed PPE – has now raised nearly £2 million of its £3 million target.
Discussing the shortage of protective equipment in UK hospitals, McAvoy said: “I honestly can’t go into pointing fingers… But there is clearly a problem somewhere along the line whether it’s a shortage of supplies or a problem in distribution.
“Either way, there is a failure there somewhere and what Masks For NHS Heroes is trying to do is trying to augment what is coming in from the government already.
“We are trying to help plug gaps and put fingers in dams and so far the British people, and people around the world, have been so incredible at responding to the appeal and we have made just under £2 million pounds so we are trying our best.”
The outbreak of coronavirus is putting unprecedented pressure on the health service, with 20,000 former NHS staff returning to assist in the fight as the death toll in the UK reaches 1228 people.