Thomas Markle, Meghan Markle’s estranged father, was released from the hospital Saturday night, five days after suffering a stroke.
“I feel hugely grateful and know how lucky I am to be alive,” Thomas, 77, told the Daily Mail Sunday.
“I want to thank everyone, especially the wonderful doctors and nurses who saved my life. They are angels.”
“People have been so kind,” the retired TV lighting director said, adding that he was “deeply moved” by the “loving messages” he received “from all over the world.”
The stroke clearly affected Thomas’ speech, as he shared the message by “writing on a whiteboard with a felt-tip pen,” according to the newspaper.
“I can’t speak right now, but I am working hard and will thank people properly when I can,” he further explained.
The Emmy winner noted that he faces an “an uphill battle” but is determined “to get well.”
The Daily Mail also spoke with Thomas’ son, Thomas Markle Jr., who revealed that he was visiting family in Oregon when he received the call about his father’s stroke on Monday night.
“I will be here for Dad and do whatever it takes to help him on his road to recovery. It’s been a terrible shock for everyone, but Dad is a strong man,” Thomas Jr., 55, said, adding that his father was already making great progress with the assistance of a speech therapist.
His daughter Samantha Markle later told the Daily Mail, “He just needs some rest. It’s a travesty how much he’s been tortured and how much he’s had to go through thanks to my sister [Meghan]’s disregard the past few years. That is unforgivable.”
While Meghan Markle has not publicly commented on her father’s health issues, a source told the Daily Mirror on Saturday that she is “concerned” and “wants to know if there is any way to contact her father privately, without other family members knowing about it or having to get involved.”
The Duchess of Sussex has long been estranged from her father and half-siblings, and Thomas famously missed his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 due to reported heart surgery.