Sophie, Countess of Wessex surprised a teenager who was about to undergo an operation in Leeds, on Tuesday.
The Countess, who was at Leeds Children’s Hospital to officially open the new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, surprised 15-year-old Nikita Chidwick, who was being prepared for surgery for the spinal condition scoliosis.
“The Countess was lovely and we had no idea about her visit until we were brought up here,” Nikita’s mum Maria told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “It’s taken Nikita’s mind off being hungry from fasting.”
During her visit, the mother of Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, met with staff and families of children being cared for at the unit. The Countess also met with former patients Isabella Cook and Ellie Greenwood, who were excited to meet the royal guest.
Isabella, 15, spoke to the wife of Prince Edward about her treatment for a heart defect, which meant she had to stay at the hospital from February to May of this year while she recovered from surgery.
After the tour of the unit, Sophie unveiled a plaque to honour her visit and said it had been a “great privilege” to visit the Leeds hospital again.
The popular royal first made a visit to Leeds General Infirmary in 2012 when she opened the facility. After proving such a hit with staff and patients and praised for her compassionate nature, Sophie was asked to become patron and was invited back to visit the new £1.75m Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Earlier this year, Sophie gushed how happy she was for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the birth of their first child, Prince George.
“I’m so excited for them both,”she told reporters, the day after the birth. “It’s a wonderful event. Everybody’s absolutely thrilled as you can imagine.”
“I never expected to feel quite this happy but I’ve had a big smile on my face ever since the news broke.”