Anxious Prince William felt the whole world was dying during job as ex-ambulance pilot

Appearing on Apple’s Time to Walk podcast, Prince William has spoken out about the importance of opening up about mental health and wellbeing.

During the podcast, the Duke of Cambridge walked around the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to reflect on his time working for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) as a pilot.

Working in the role between 2015 and 2017, William admitted that the job had left him “taking home people’s trauma, people’s sadness.”

Despite primarily being a pilot for the EAAA, the prince explained how the role was vast and that he would sometimes administer CPR to help the casualty involved.

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“Seeing patients and families ripped apart on almost a daily basis, that routine, you just get into a habit of head down and get on with it,” he said.

But after attending one particular job where a child was hit by a car, William spoke of the lasting impact that the incident had left on him.

“Immediately it became clear that this young person was in serious difficulty.

“Of course, there's some things in life you don't really want to see. And all we cared about at the time was fixing this boy.

“And the parents are very hysterical, as you can imagine, screaming, wailing, not knowing what to do, you know, and in, in real agony themselves. And that lives with you,” he said.

Though the boy was stabilised and safely transported to hospital soon after the accident, William remained anxious in the following weeks.

“I went home that night pretty upset but not noticeably. I wasn't in tears, but inside, I felt something had changed. I felt a sort of, a real tension inside of me,” he added.

“I felt like the whole world was dying. It's an extraordinary feeling. You just feel everyone's in pain, everyone's suffering. And that's not me. I've never felt that before…

“I kept looking at myself, going, ‘Why am I feeling like this? Why do I feel so sad?’ And I started to realize that, actually, you're taking home people's trauma, people's sadness, and it's affecting you,” he said.

Making mental health a significant focus of his charitable endeavours, the Duke of Cambridge highlighted the importance of transparency and communication and that speaking about his experience with EAAA has helped him deal with traumatic moments.

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“Talking about those jobs definitely helped, sharing them with the team, and ultimately, in one case, meeting the family and the patient involved who made a recovery, albeit not a full recovery, but made a recovery – that definitely helped,” he explained.

It’s thought that William was referring to Bobby Hughes, a five year old who was hit by a learner driver in 2017.

Bobby’s mother, Carly Hughes, told The Mail On Sunday that William kept in touch with the family, offering them all of his support.

“I think he’s amazing, a credit to our country. I can’t sing his praises enough. I’ve looked into his eyes and, genuinely, he has got a kind heart,” she said.

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