The police officer exposed to the Novichok nerve agent after the Salisbury poisoning has said “normal life for me will probably never be the same” after he was discharged from hospital.
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey said he has been “overwhelmed” by the support he has received during the “completely” surreal experience.
He was taken to Salisbury District Hospital after responding to the attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia on March 4.
At a press conference outside the hospital, Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said he was discharged on Thursday afternoon after his condition improved.
The Skripals remain in a critical but stable condition, she told reporters.
In a statement read by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, DS Bailey, said: “People ask me how I am feeling – but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now. Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up – and it really has been completely surreal.
“I have been so very overwhelmed by the support, cards and messages I have received – everyone has been so incredible.”
His wife, Sarah, said in a statement: “Nick doesn’t like the term hero, but he has always been a hero to me and our children.”
DS Bailey insisted “I am just a normal person with a normal life”, but added: “I recognise that ‘normal’ life for me will probably never be the same – and Sarah and I now need to focus on finding a new normal for us and for our children.”