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“Give my gold to NHS medics” Invictus winner tells Prince Harry

Britain's Prince Harry presents Elizabeth Marks of the U.S. a gold medal during a medal ceremony at the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, U.S., May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Swimmer shines at Invictus Games, asking Prince Harry to gift her gold medal to the British medical team that saved her life.

“Give my gold to NHS medics” Invictus winner tells Prince Harry

The Invictus Games are currently well under way in Florida, USA.

Founded by Prince Harry, the biennial event brings together veteran military and service members from all across the world. The games offers a place for these veterans, who have both invisible and visible injuries, to compete in 10 different sports.

Debuting in London in 2014, the games have since attracted over 500 athletes across 15 different countries.

This year, the games are being held in Orlando across five days.

Reuters

So far the games have seen numerous winners take home gold for themselves, and for their country. But one such winner who stood out, was American soldier – Sgt Elizabeth Marks.

In 2010, Sgt Marks suffered a very serious hip injury that left her paralysed and completely without feeling in her left leg.

Since then she has been determined not to let her injury define who she is.

Winning a total of four gold medals at the Invictus Games this year, when presented with her last one by Prince Harry, she graciously handed it back.

She requested that Prince Harry take her medal and pass it on to the British medical team that had previously saved her life.

The 25-year-old combat medic had been in London training for the first Invictus Games when she collapsed. The veteran was diagnosed with a serious lung condition – respiratory distress syndrome and taken to hospital where she was placed in an induced coma.

Marks told The Telegraph that the hospital “shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life. I was on it for 10 days and ended up waking in an army hospital in Germany having no idea what had happened.

“But they absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me.

“So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.” Close to tears, she paid tribute to the NHS, saying: “Thank you, I’ll never be able to repay you, but what you’re doing is wonderful.”

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