The leader of the anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party was rushed to hospital today in Westerham, Kent, where his life was saved by an immigrant doctor from Pakistan.
According to local reports, Nigel Farage was stricken with a rare and sometimes fatal heart arrhythmia but was spared when the attending physician, Dr. Nusrat Ali Khan, successfully diagnosed and treated his condition with the proper medication.
Although Farage was in a critical state upon arrival, he is expected to make a full recovery and will likely be able to fully manage his heart problem though ongoing care.
In a an interview with BBC Radio Kent, Dr. Khan says that although the case was unusually difficult, he was just doing his job.
“When the patient arrived, we quickly ascertained he was undergoing an arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, a very rare genetic condition that affects the heart muscle,” he explained.
“Of course I recognized Mr. Farage, and I did see the irony of the situation. But I am a professional, and my team treated him as we would any other patient.”
This is England
UKIP has surged into the spotlight of British politics in recent months as its anti-European and anti-immigrant message propelled it to a strong showing in local elections. The party is currently polling at 18 percent in national polling, displacing the centrist Liberal Democrats as the country’s third party.
Farage calls for an immediate referendum on leaving the EU, and a near halt to all new immigration – replacing new migrants with guest workers.
Dr. Kahn for his part says he is in Britain on a temporary work visa, and would like to settle in Kent full time. Under UKIP’s immigration plan, however, that won’t be possible.
“My wife is an MIT-educated structural engineer in New York, and she would love to come join me here in the U.K.,” he explains, “but unfortunately these work permits don’t allow that.”
In a statement Farage, himself the descendant of French Huguenot refugees who came to England to escape religious persecution, says his personal experience won’t impact his party’s positions.
“Although we admit that a select few immigrants like Dr. Khan enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Britain, most are completely useless and drain our nation of resources,” the statement reads.
“For every one Dr. Kahn, there are a thousand of his cousins collecting welfare payments and plotting machete attacks against our nation. Our opposition to immigration stands – we want these people out.”
A spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron had no comment on the incident, but reiterated Cameron’s slavish praise for Farage and his policies.