Staff at Papworth Hospital have sent a ‘thank you’ message to swimmer Sgt Elizabeth Marks who announced this week that she will donate the gold medal she won at the Invictus Games to the hospital’s medical team.

Sgt Marks, aged 25, told Prince Harry, who presented her with the medal, to hand it to the medical team at Papworth Hospital “because they absolutely saved my life and I can't thank the UK enough”,

The swimmer, from Arizona, became gravely ill when she collapsed with a lung condition on the eve of the first games in London in 2014.

Sgt Marks won all four swimming events she entered at this year's Invictus Games, which is for injured military personnel and veterans, and is taking place in Orlando.

She chose to give her 100m freestyle gold medal to the hospital as it had been touched by the prince, who came up with the idea for the games.

Claire Tripp, interim chief executive at Papworth said: “We are delighted to hear that Elizabeth has won a gold medal at the Invictus games following her treatment at Papworth Hospital. Our staff pride themselves on offering the very highest standard of patient care and we are all delighted to hear of Elizabeth's extraordinary achievement. We wish Elizabeth the very best and would very much like to meet with her so we can thank her personally.”

Dr Roger Hall, medical director at Papworth Hospital added: “The team here at Papworth are extremely proud to hear that Elizabeth has asked to donate her medal to Papworth, this is extremely generous and unexpected. Our pioneering and innovating ethos allows us to offer some of the UK's most advanced treatment for heart and lung disease and this news will mean a lot to all the staff at Papworth who work tirelessly to provide the very best care possible to our patients.

“Elizabeth's fantastic achievement is a good example of how modern medicine can support all of us to not only lead a normal life, following life-threatening conditions, but go on to achieve truly amazing accomplishments.”