Princess Diana was loved all over the world. She was down-to-earth, funny, a caring mother, and a wonderful role model for many.
The tragic car accident in Paris that ended Diana’s life became a moment no one will ever forget. Diana was mourned all over the world, and her legacy will last forever.
But what happened that night in Paris? And what were her injuries? Now, surgeon MonSef Dahman, who tried to save Diana’s life on that horrible night, has spoken out for the first time.
Diana’s passing was a shock to an entire nation, and her sons, William and Harry, were left without a mother. The terrible car crash and its potential cause of it have been discussed and debated many times. However, one person who found himself in the middle of the tragedy has now stepped forward.
Surgeon MonSef Dahman was working at a hospital in Paris at the time – and it was he who was charged with trying to keep Diana alive.
In a new interview with Daily Mail, he’s told the entire story of what happened.
“The thought that you have lost an important person, for whom you cared personally, marks you for life,” he told the British news outlet.
To begin with, Dahman wasn’t even supposed to have worked that night. As a young duty general surgeon at the biggest hospital in France, his wife was pregnant at the time. They were due to go on holiday, away from Paris, but since his wife was pregnant with the couple’s second child, they decided to stay.
As a result, Dahman worked all summer. Since he was a junior doctor, the shifts were very long. And this particular weekend, he started working at 8 am but was still on duty at 2 am the following morning.
Dahman recalled it being a “pretty easy” day. He was able to take some moments of rest and hadn’t been asked to perform any difficult procedures.
But at 2 am, everything changed dramatically.
At approximately 12.23 am, the car that Diana was traveling in crashed in a Parisian tunnel. She received lengthy treatment from doctors at the scene but suffered cardiac arrest while in the ambulance.
By six minutes past two in the morning, Diana had reached the hospital.
“I was resting in the duty room when I got a call from Bruno Riou, the senior duty anesthetist, telling me to go to the emergency room,” Dahman told Daily Mail. “I wasn’t told it was Lady Diana, but [only] that there’d been a serious accident involving a young woman.”
Dahman was 33 years of age at the time. When he arrived from the restroom, located about 50 meters from the emergency department, he understood how serious things were.
And as he walked into the room, he was informed that the person laying on the stretcher was Princess Diana.
“It only took that moment for all this unusual activity to become clear to me,’ he recalled.
“For any doctor, any surgeon, it is of very great importance to be faced with such a young woman who is in this condition. But of course even more so if she is a princess.”
Upon Diana’s arrival at the hospital, she underwent an X-ray that revealed she had suffered serious internal injuries. She immediately received a blood transfusion.
Just 15 minutes after arriving, Diana suffered another cardiac arrest. Dahman performed a surgical procedure, but the Princess’s injuries were too grave.
Her heart simply would not restart.
“We tried electric shocks, several times and, as I had done in the emergency room, cardiac massage,” Dahman explained. “Professor Riou had administered adrenaline. But we could not get her heart beating again.”
Dahman and his medical team fought to keep Diana alive. But in the end, there wasn’t much they could do. He explained that the hospital – Pitié-Salpêtrière – was one of the best centers in the whole of France for these types of emergencies, and saving people who have been brought in made him “happy and proud”.
In Diana’s case, he felt hope at the beginning. But ultimately, they couldn’t save her.
“We fought hard, we tried a lot, really an awful lot,” he said. “Frankly, when you are working in those conditions, you don’t notice the passage of time. The only important thing is that we do everything possible for this young woman.”
“We could not save her. And that affected us very much.”
Recalls it like it was yesterday
Every year as August approaches, MonSef Dahman – who now works as a surgeon in the French town of Antibes – thinks about that terrible night at the hospital in 1997. He, just like millions of people around the world, watched the funeral. It was a tragedy.
“I don’t go back to it all the time because a lot of years have gone by,” he told Daily Mail. “But every time a new book [about Diana’s death] has come out [in France], it has been sent to me. So I have a collection of such books, unfortunately.”
Princess Diana is still loved by people all around the world, as her spirit and legacy live on. A new documentary about the late Princess is set to air soon.
In the 90-minute film, as reported by Express, new revelations about Princess Diana’s last days will come to light. Journalist and royal expert Richard Kay appears in the documentary – he revealed that he was the last person who spoke to Diana before the tragic car crash.
“I spoke to her that night. The police said that the last call she made was to me,” Kay recalled.
New Diana documentary
One year before her passing, Diana and Prince Charles finally divorced. Certain reports now insist that Diana was afraid the Queen and Charles were plotting to separate her from Harry and William. This comes according to biographer Howard Hodgson, author of the 2007 book Charles: The Man Who Will Be King.
“She was well aware that the Queen had the constitutional right and authority under common law to take control of both boys’ care and education,” Hodgson wrote.
“As such she could become the boys’ guardian or even appoint one: this would probably be their father and that might lead to Diana’s exclusion if she finally burned all her bridges with the Royal Family.”
After the split from Prince Charles, Richard Kay said that he felt that Diana was in “quite a good place”. She was starting a new chapter in her life, when suddenly everything was taken away from her and her children.
“She was desperate to try and make a fresh start and do something different, to explore a different kind of Royalty,” Kay said. “And she wanted to come back and see her boys.”
“The most mourned person who ever lived”
The new documentary about Princess Diana will celebrate her “remarkable life”. According to Executive Producer David Glover, the documentary came at the “perfect time to re-examine her life and legacy”.
“There is something a bit magical about Princess Diana – and despite the difficulties in her personal life she managed to use her connection with people to do huge amounts of good,” Glover said.
“Her 60th birthday feels like the perfect time to re-examine her life and legacy and explore just how she went from a relatively unknown teenager to the most mourned person who ever lived.”
In 2017, Harry and William announced the unveiling of a new statue of their mother. On July 1, the statue is to be unveiled in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.
Latest reports state that Harry will attend his mother’s statue unveiling, though Meghan Markle won’t be there. Instead, she will stay at the couple’s Montecito home to take care of their newborn baby, as reported by Harper’s Bazaar.
“Meghan has just had a baby and has no plans to travel to London for the memorial event planned for the statue unveiling,” another source revealed to Entertainment Tonight.
Harry & William on their mother
In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s passing, Harry and William got together and talked about their mother.
“When everybody says ‘she was funny, give us an example’. All I can hear is her laugh,” Harry explained.
“She was one of the naughtiest parents, she’d come and watch us play football and smuggle sweet into her socks, literally walking back from a football match and having five packages of [candy]. And just, the whole shirt was full of sweets.”
“We felt incredibly loved by her, and I’m very grateful that the love still feels there,” William said. ”It feels like a good time to remember her and hopefully provide a different side.
”It was that love, even though she was on the other side of the room, as her son you could feel it,” Harry added.
Growing up within the Royal Family must be a very special thing. Sure, there will never be a shortage of money, but at the same time, it’s a life about duties and responsibilities.
New Princess Diana letters revealed
Just how much of a ‘normal’ childhood William and Harry had with their mother is hard to tell. But recently, an old letter written by Princess Diana surfaced.
In the letter, we get a very short, but beautiful glimpse of what William and Harry’s childhood was like. Not only that but also the very special childhood bond between the two.
The letter from Diana was written in March of 1985, just six months after the birth of her youngest son, Harry.
“William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!” Diana’s handwritten letter states, as reported by The Sun.
Written to a former steward at Buckingham Palace, Cyril Dickman, the letter was sold at auction in Cambridge in 2017.
In other letters, Princess Diana revealed how a then-older Prince Harry was “constantly in trouble” at school. Further, she also wrote about the joy of being a mother, as well as describing the “difficult period” in her life that was to follow.
Took William and Harry out for fast food
Princess Diana oftentimes took William and Harry to theme parks and other fun venues. But she also knew what royal life entailed, including the fact that they had meals served at all times.
She knew the importance of William and Harry being just as any other child, even though they were royals. With this in mind, she would sneak them out of the palace to go and get fast food on occasion.
“I remember the princess came into the kitchen one day and said, ‘Cancel lunch for the boys, I’m taking them out, we’re going to McDonald’s,” Diana’s former personal chef Darren McGrady told Marie Claire.
“And I said, ‘Oh my God – your Royal Highness, I can do that, I can do burgers.’ And she said, ‘No, it’s the toy they want.’”
Princess Diana will forever be in our hearts. Thank you, MonSef Dahman and the rest of the medical team for doing everything you could to save Diana’s life. You and all medical workers are heroes in our eyes.
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