Diana loss difficult, heart surgeon lover says
Published 06/10/2013 | 10:26
Heart surgeon Hasnat Khan has spoken of his struggle to come to terms with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales - and how he believes she would be "proud" of his charitable medical work with poverty-stricken children in Africa.
The 54-year-old said the pair, who met in 1995, had been "inseparable" during their romance and he had found it "very difficult" after she died in 1997 following a Paris car crash.
The medic told The Sun on Sunday he believed the Princess would approve of his work for the Chain of Hope charity providing life-saving heart surgery in Ethiopia to needy children.
"Sometimes when I do a job like this I do have these very strong feelings that Diana is still with me somehow," he said.
"Not in a religious or spiritual sense, but in the way you feel when you've known someone really well in your life and instinctively know how they'd react in a given situation.
"The past few weeks have been tough and I know Diana would be saying, 'Stay focused and keep getting on with your life. Help these children. Be happy'.
"I also know she would be proud of the sort of work we're doing here in Ethiopia. She was a great humanitarian and that's how she should always be remembered."
Dr Khan, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital in Essex, repeated his attack on the film Diana, which focuses on the romance between the pair.
He said parts of the film were a betrayal of the couple's romance - and dismissed suggestions that his family had disapproved of their relationship as "rubbish".
"Only myself and my closest friends knew what really went on in our relationship," he said.
"Both my parents, grandmother and all close relatives who met Diana liked her very much, and my parents and grandmother never objected to our relationship.
"They were very much happy for us to make a decision ourselves and made it clear they would support it 100pc. We both had their blessing.
"This amounts to the film projecting a betrayal of our relationship and my relationship with my immediate family."
He challenged the film-makers to "make amends" to his family by donating some of the proceeds from the film to Chain of Hope.
The charity, whose president is the world-renowned heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, provides surgery and treatment to children and young people suffering from life-threatening heart disease in countries where treatment is unavailable.