A former hospital porter and a nurse invited to meet the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace had to miss the chance of a lifetime when he and a colleague had to deal with a medical emergency.

Baba Adeyiga, a senior radiographer at Queen’s and King George Hospitals, had been invited with senior nurse Sinead Skelton to represent the hospitals’ NHS trust at the official garden party on Wednesday (May 8).

It was the one big moment to meet the royal couple for Baba who had worked his way up from just a porter to senior radiographer through the hospital trust’s apprenticeship scheme.

But the pair, who were lined up to meet the King, had to rush off to help someone in the crowd when a woman was injured by a wheelchair rolling over her foot.

Yet the medical emergency wasn’t enough to spoil their day.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Baba said afterwards. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity, all thanks to my apprenticeship.

“It was a special moment walking through the gates, and to be just a stone’s throw from the King — I’ve never been in the presence of anyone like it before.”

The royal garden party was one of a series of events recognising ordinary people who have had a positive impact in their communities.

Senior nurse Sinead recalled: “It took my breath away when the national anthem played and the King and Queen came down the steps.

“Princess Anne, Edward and Sophie were there too. It was a real honour to go to Buckingham Palace.

“We kept asking each other if we could believe we were really there. It was surreal.”

They arrived at the palace gates and approached under the famous royal balcony.

“The balcony looked much smaller than it does on TV,” Sinead added. “Then we were looking back out on the crowds outside thinking this is what it must be like for the Royal family — something we’ll remember for a lifetime.”

Baba was also invited to a special event for apprentices from Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS hospitals’ trust held at the House of Commons earlier this year, in recognition of working his way from a porter to a top radiographer.