April 10, 2018
Release comes just over a month after she and her father were poisoned with nerve agent
Yulia Skripal discharged from hospital after Salisbury attack
Yulia Skripal, the daughter of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, has been discharged from hospital, doctors have said.
Just over a month after she and her father were found collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, after being poisoned with a nerve agent, medics confirmed she had left Salisbury district hospital.
Skripal, 33, flew to the UK on 3 March, the day before she and her father are believed to have been poisoned with the nerve agent novichok. She released a statement on Friday saying her strength was “growing daily”.
Sergei Skripal, 66, is also making good progress and doctors hope he will be able to leave hospital “in due course”.
Speaking outside the hospital on Tuesday, its medical director, Christine Blanshard, said: “We have now discharged Yulia from Salisbury district hospital. Yulia has asked for privacy from the media and I want to reiterate her request.
“I also want to take this opportunity to wish Yulia well. This is not the end of her treatment but marks a significant milestone.
“Her father has also made good progress. On Friday I announced he was no longer in a critical condition. Although he is recovering more slowly than Yulia, we hope that he too will be able to leave hospital in due course.”
Blanshard gave further insight into how the nerve agent attacked the two patients and the treatment they received. “In the four weeks since the incident in the city centre, both have received round-the-clock care from our clinicians, who have been able to draw on advice and support from world-leading experts in the field,” she said.
“Nerve agents work by attaching themselves to the particular enzymes in the body, which then stop the nerves from functioning. This results in symptoms such as sickness and hallucinations. Our job in treating the patients is to stabilise them, ensuring that they can breathe and blood can continue to circulate.
“We then need to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning. We also use specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins.
“Both patients have been responding exceptionally well to the treatment we’ve been providing, but equally both patients are at different stages of their recovery.”
Yulia Skripal’s departure from hospital comes nearly three weeks after DS Nick Bailey was discharged after he was affected by the nerve agent.
The testimony of the Skripals will be crucial in establishing the credibility of the government’s claim that it was “highly likely” the Russian state targeted them with the nerve agent.
Moscow has waged a furious media battle in an attempt to discredit this account. It is likely it will want to bring Yulia Skripal back to Russia.
In its first response to the latest news, the Russian embassy in London tweeted its congratulations to Yulia Skripal but suggested she could be acting under duress:
The Russian and British governments have continued their war of words over who is blame for the Skripals’ poisoning. On Sunday, Boris Johnson accused the Kremlin and Russia’s state-owned media of inventing 29 different theories about the Salisbury attack. “No other government devotes as much time and effort to the business of trying to sabotage or discredit international inquiries,” the foreign secretary said.
Officials rejected a request from the Russian embassy for a meeting with Johnson to discuss the poisonings. In a statement on its website, the embassy said its dealings with Britain over the issue had been “utterly unsatisfactory”.
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