William meets medics who helped save lives after Christchurch terrorist attack

The Duke of Cambridge has begun the second day of his visit to New Zealand by meeting the hospital medics who helped save lives in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

William visited Christchurch Hospital, where dozens of the injured were treated after a gunman opened fire during Friday prayers last month.

Hospital chiefs have previously told how surgeons and staff worked through the night to save lives following the terrorist attack.

William was met by Dr John Wood, chairman of the Canterbury Health Board, and Greg Robertson, director of surgery, as well as general manager Pauline Clark and nursing director Lynne Johnson.

He was expected to privately meet more survivors of the tragedy, having already met five-year-old Alen Alsati in Auckland on Thursday.

The youngster was injured in the shootings and awoke from a coma earlier this week.

Kensington Palace shared a video of a touching moment between the pair during the private meeting at Starship Children’s Hospital.

Later, the duke is due to meet members of the public during a walkabout in Christchurch city centre as he concludes his brief visit.

On Friday, New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush told how William offered up his support to those who put their lives on the line to save others after the terrorist attack.

Speaking after the duke met officers, medics and first responders at the city’s Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, Mr Bush described how the “emotion was palpable” as William found out more about how the attacks unfolded.

“If I could use the words he used to our staff, ‘a good friend doesn’t pick up the phone when a person is in need – they travel to their place and put their arms around them’,” he said.

Mr Bush said William was concerned with checking how those involved in the response were coping more than a month on from the tragedy.

“He was conscious about them needing to take care of themselves,” he added.

“His main piece of advice was to talk to each other, to not bottle things up – to support each other to talk about what they saw and what they do afterwards.

“There was a moment with all the first responders (where he was) just telling them how important their job was but also the importance of looking after themselves.

“When he said he was there to put his arms around us as a friend and offer support, that really had an impact on us.”

William has been visiting New Zealand on behalf of the Queen at the request of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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