Yulia Skripal: Poisoned daughter of Russian former spy discharged from Salisbury hospital

The 33-year-old's strength is 'growing daily', she has said

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 10 April 2018 07:41 BST
Salisbury poisoning: Yulia Skripal discharged from hospital

Yulia Skripal has been discharged from hospital following treatment for exposure to nerve agent, doctors have said.

The 33-year-old was struck down by a novichok poison alongside her father Sergei, a former MI6 double agent, in Salisbury in March.

The pair were left fighting for their lives after being found unconscious on a park bench in the Wiltshire city.

Ms Skripal said last week her strength was “growing daily”, and Mr Skripal, 66, is also no longer in a critical condition. He was “responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and no longer in a critical condition”, doctors said on Friday. They now hope he will be able to leave hospital “in due course”.

Ms Skripal has been discharged but will require ongoing treatment, Salisbury District Hospital’s medical director said on Tuesday morning.

Dr Christine Blanshard said: “We have now discharged Yulia from Salisbury District Hospital. This is not the end of her treatment but marks a significant milestone.

“Her father has also made good progress. Although he is recovering more slowly than Yulia, we hope that he too will be able to leave hospital in due course.”

She also praised hospital staff for their work during an “enormously testing” time.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that Ms Skripal been taken to a secure location.

Theresa May has accused Russia of being behind the poisoning, which the Kremlin has denied. The military-grade nerve agent could only have been made in Russia, the UK says.

Mr Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted in Russia of spying for Britain. He was imprisoned in Russia and eventually settled in England after a spy swap.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, suggested the UK could have carried out the attack on 4 March. “Experts tell us that it may well be beneficial to the British special services, who are known for their ability to act with licence to kill,” he said.

Boris Johnson said the Kremlin had released a “torrent of absurdity” in the weeks since the poisoning, which also affected a police officer.

Detective sergeant Nick Bailey left hospital on 22 March, and said his life would “never be the same again”.

Dr Blanshard added on Tuesday: “Nerve agents work by attaching themselves to particular enzymes in the body which then stop the nerves from functioning.

“This results in symptoms such as sickness, hallucinations. Our job in treating the patients is to stabilise them, ensuring they are able to breathe and blood can continue to circulate.

“We then needed 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 used specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins. Both patients have responded exceptionally well to the treatment we’ve been providing, but equally, both patients are at different stages in their recovery.”

Large areas of central Salisbury were cordoned off by police following the discovery of the Skripals. Traces of nerve agent were found in The Mill pub and Zizzi’s restuarant where the pair had eaten when Yulia Skripal came to the UK to visit her father.

Police believe they were poisoned at home, and detectives found the highest concentration of novichok on the front door of Mr Skripal’s house in in Christie Miller Road.

Authorities warned that hundreds of people may have been put at risk of some exposure to nerve agent.

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