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Luke Evans has paid an emotional tribute to the “NHS superheroes” who saved his father’s hand after a freak accident.
The Welsh actor - famous in Hollywood for roles in Beauty and the Beast and the Fast & Furious franchise - revealed his father almost lost his fingers in a “terrible accident” chopping wood with a circular saw in his garden last week.
In a tearful video on his Facebook page Evans, 40, thanked the NHS and staff at Swansea's Morriston Hospital for performing five hours of micro-surgery late at night to save his father’s fingers.
Evans said: “It was very bad he sliced his hand open. It was a terrible accident. He almost lost his fingers...
“He was taken straight into surgery which took five hours of micro-surgery by one of the most incredible people I've ever met.
"What he did to my dad's hand is extraordinary. From the second we got there we were looked after by very kind people. Nurses, carers, porters, surgeons, anaesthetists. All of which had already worked a very, very long day when we arrived. And at 7pm the surgeon, his name was Thomas, decided he would carry on and operate on my dad - although he knew it would probably take him at least five hours to reconstruct my dad's fingers.
"That would take him way over the time that he had to finish work. And he finished at 12.30 at night, and he came out with a smile on his face and time to give me and my mum all the time to explain what had happened to my dad to have a vein taken out of his wrist and put into his finger. Detailed, precision work which makes my mind spin as to how they even do these things.”
Evans added: "Thank you. Because you've not only saved my dad's hand, you have saved these incredible fingers which have built houses, they have built houses, walls, fireplaces.
"My dad wouldn't have survived well without his hands, and you saved them. You keep on saving people. I'm very proud to have experienced that first hand and see how brilliant you all are.”
Evans paid tribute to the UK’s National Health Service, acknowledging its many problems, but hailing its overworked staff who sacrifice their time to save people’s lives.
He said: “I just wanted to say how lucky I feel, and how grateful I am to have a health service that allows my dad to be treated for all these things and hasn't needed health insurance or anything. It's just there for us.
"We're a very lucky nation. Yes, it's massively in debt. Yes, it doesn't function as well as it should. Yes, there are many problems.
"But the people who keep the NHS going, I met many of them over the last four days in this hospital and they are all superheroes.
"They are all life-savers, and they have saved people's lives, they have kept families together, they have delivered babies, they have saved limbs, hearts, lungs, livers, brains.
"They have brought people through the worst moments of their lives and they don't get thanked enough, and they work hours - we can't even imagine how many hours these people work.
"And they do it out of self-sacrifice because they are those kind of people who want to give something back. I want to say thank you to them and thank you to their families, the amount of time they must miss their family members and work through Christmases and birthdays and weddings and funerals and all the other things that these people sacrifice to do their job.
Our little country has taken a battering. Please Help Wales after Storm Dennis floods https://t.co/p69U5lMIDF
— Luke Evans (@TheRealLukevans) February 20, 2020
"So just a shout out to everybody who works for the NHS. From the people who empty the bins to the people who save the lives, you are all amazing and I'm very grateful for you all."
The Hollywood actor - who recently released his debut album At Last - is back in his homeland of Wales filming ITV detective drama The Pembrokeshire Murders, which is about the pursuit of the serial killer.