Before Prince William stepped into his inevitable role as a full-time royal, the heir to the throne spent years working as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia.
The Duke of Cambridge worked as a search-and-rescue pilot dealing with emergencies all over the area. And now, he has been praised by one mother whose son tragically passed away in May 2017.
Prince William and his team attempted to save the young boy, 16-year-old Robbie Lea, after he was caught in the water at Lee Valley Park in Hertfordshire, while swimming with friends. But sadly, Robbie passed away, despite their efforts to save him.
Just yesterday, the Duke reflected on that and other experiences he had during his time with the air ambulance, speaking out about the impact it had on his mental health.
And Robbie’s mother, Sarah Lea, thanked the royal both for what he did to try and save Robbie, and for opening up about his own mental health.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said, “I can’t thank Prince William enough. For what he did to try to save my son on that terrible day and for now speaking out on mental health issues.”
Sarah also admitted that since Robbie’s death, she and her seven-year-old son Mason have struggled to find support in dealing with their tragic loss. But, she said, “I’ve struggled to get the right support for Mason. But I certainly haven’t been let down by Prince William. It shows our future king is human. It was a brave thing to do.”
Prince William spoke about his mental wellbeing at the recent This Can Happen conference, which aims to promote mental health support in the workplace.
He confessed that after welcoming his own children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, his often difficult work really hit home.
The Duke said, “I worked on several traumatic jobs involving children. And after I had my own I think the relation between the job and my personal life is what took me over the edge,”
“I started feeling things I’ve never felt before, and I got very sad and very down about this particular family,”
He continued, “You don’t want to share with your loved ones because you just don’t want to bring that sort of stuff home. So the only place you can talk about it is at work and if you don’t necessarily have the right tools or the right environment at work, you can see why things can snowball and get quite bad.”