"'Normal' life for me will probably never be the same" but "I want people to focus on the investigation—not the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be caught up in it." Per the Guardian, that was the message from British police officer Nick Bailey Thursday following his release from the hospital almost three weeks after he rushed to help former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who were poisoned with a Russian nerve agent. Later, it emerged a second police officer is being treated for minor symptoms, including skin irritation, after contact with an object believed to have had "secondary contamination" from the nerve agent, reports the Telegraph. Bailey will continue to receive intensive occupational therapy and psychotherapy, but he's lucky compared to Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia.
The two remain in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Salisbury. As part of a court decision Thursday to allow their blood to be tested for traces of chemical weapons by inspectors, it was revealed the pair are "heavily sedated" and may have suffered permanent brain damage; "medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree" and "the precise effect of their exposure on their long-term health remains unclear." At present, Skripal is "unable to communicate in any way" and Yulia is "unable to communicate in any meaningful way," court documents read, per ABC News. At a meeting Thursday, 28 EU leaders agreed "there is no plausible alternative explanation" other than that Russia ordered the attack, per NPR. (Read more Sergei Skripal stories.)