James McAvoy opens up about how NHS ‘saved his life’

James McAvoy has praised the NHS for saving his life when he suffered a botched surgery.

The Scottish actor, who turned 41 on Tuesday, appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to discuss the campaign to provide healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Last month, McAvoy donated £275,000 to the crowdfunding initiative Masks For NHS Heroes, which has now raised nearly £2 million of its £3 million target.

He 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.

ITV Palooza 2019 – London
Good Morning Britain co-hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid (Ian West/PA)

“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.”

Pressed by co-host Piers Morgan, he said: “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.”

McAvoy said he wanted to avoid casting blame for the shortage of PPE but said that “somewhere along the line” there had been failures.

He added: “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 so we are trying our best.”

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