A BBC snooker star has publicly thanked hospital doctors and nurses who “barely had time to eat”.

Commentator Rob Walker’s three-year-old son, Arthur, was rushed to Great Western Hospital last month.

The youngster had fallen ill with a serious infection in his right thighbone. “It left him unable to walk and in a lot of pain,” Rob posted on social media site Twitter.

Tiny Arthur spent five days in hospital, going under the knife as well as being put through x-rays, an MRI scan and blood tests. He is continuing to receive outpatient care at the hospital.

In his open letter to staff, Rob praised hardworking staff – including one nurse who “worked off her feet during a 13 hour shift during which she barely had time to eat”.

He said: “Almost all of the staff we asked had not received a pay rise (even in line with inflation) for a long time, some for as long as six or seven years.

“Some of the doctors who were at Arthur’s bedside confirmed that there are lucrative offers for their services in the Middle East and as far away as Australia.

“The three who spoke to us said they all turned them down to make the most of their training here in Britain. For us.”

Thanking the NHS doctors, nurses and hospital staff who supported his family, Rob added: “No words I use here can truly convey the feeling of seeing Arthur coming back to health.

“Never again will I take for granted the sight of my son paddling in our local river on a warm summer’s day, or jumping in puddles on one of his favourite winter walks.”

Last week, GWH’s chief nurse Hilary Walker, said of the “incredibly moving” letter: “I’m enormously proud our care was enough for Rob to want to put his feelings in writing.”