Podemos’ leader Pablo Iglesias and spokeswoman Irene Montero have released an emotive message of thanks to everyone who has supported them since their twins were born three months prematurely on July 3.
The couple, who has been away from the political scene for two months and is now back in Parliament as their twins are becoming stronger, said ‘some of the most heartfelt hugs’ came from their ‘greatest political rivals’, and that although they are ‘Republicans’, they will ‘never forget how a King and Queen phoned us to ask how our babies were’, referring to HRH Felipe VI and his wife Letizia.
“Every day we watched them and repeated the same thing: Come on, kids, let’s go.”
Pablo and Irene say they are relieved that Leo and Manuel Iglesias Montero will be unable to remember that they came into the world attached to numerous tubes and electrodes and that ‘one day they may look at their earliest photos with astonishment’.
“Before they were able to feed solely off Irene’s milk, it was milk from other mothers which helped them survive – and as soon as she was producing enough, Irene’s milk was also donated to help other babies live,” Pablo says.
“The State health system has made our children ‘milk brothers’ of many other tiny little girls and boys like them.”
It is the State health system which Pablo has the most praise for.
“Many premature babies like our children, in other parts of the world, do not have the same luck – our children are now two months old because they were born in a country which has something so much more important than any national anthem or flag: a free and universal health service. We’ll tell them later that nothing deserves more loyalty than this. The fact they are alive, and their health, are not just the result of medical and scientific advances, but also that of a society which still ensures the best possible care for any person living in it, whatever their social status. Very few children would get what they need and deserve if their health was a lottery left to supply and demand.”
Pablo mentioned several medics at Madrid’s Gregorio Marañón Hospital by name, including their ‘guardian angel’ Dr Manuel Sánchez Luna; Dr Elena Zamora; Dr Ana Rodríguez; Dr Concha Hernández; Dr Santiago Lizárraga, Dr Virginia Uzal, and nurses Sagrario, Cristina, Ohiane ‘who spoke to the children in the Basque language’, Julián, Neus, Alejandro, Paula, Carmen, Marisa ‘and so many others’.
Podemos’ leader describes the kind and affectionate bedside manner and constant checking on how the parents were, as well as their exceptional care, and says he and Irene will also have ‘a very special bond’ with all the other mums and dads whose babies were on the neo-natal intensive care ward.
Their own families and friends were a vital pillar, and ‘without the hugs of our tribe, everything would have been so much harder’.
“We’ll never forget that some of the most beautiful words and some of the most sincere hugs and most fitting advice came from our greatest political rivals,” says Pablo.
“We’re Republicans, but will always remember how a King and a Queen phoned us to ask after our children.
“We’re atheists, but we’ll tell our children when they grow up that our friends who do believe prayed round the clock for them. We have it on authority that the Virgen del Tránsito, Santa Rosa de Viterbo and Santa María Liberatrice were called upon (and you never know…). There are few more gestures of love and friendship that are more beautiful than this, and we’ll teach our children that they should always respect those with different beliefs from their own because humanity, decency and friendship are not the exclusive heritage of any single cause.”
The humble and grateful message has already clocked up over 41,000 likes, 10,000 shares and 5,464 comments.