Monday, November 21, 2005

To launch a series on celebrities and their health, the BBC News website talks to British explorer Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes about his life after a heart attack and bypass operation.
Sir Ranulph, 61, began leading major expeditions in 1970.
He had earlier been dismissed from the elite SAS regiment following a practical joke in which the set of the movie Doctor Doolittle was blown up in Wiltshire.
He then went on to work in the Middle East with the Sultan of Oman's forces, before setting off around the globe.
Described by the Guinness Book of Records as "the world's greatest living explorer", one of his greatest adventures was the 52,000-mile Transglobe Expedition - the first surface journey around the world's polar axis.
In 1993, the Queen awarded Sir Ranulph the OBE for human endeavour and charitable services. He has gone on to develop a career as an author and motivational speaker.
How did you first realise something was wrong?
I had absolutely no indication anything was wrong until I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I'd suffered a heart attack.
It took 13 attempts to get my heart beating and I was in intensive care at Bristol Royal Infirmary on a life-support machine for three days
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Before that there had been no obvious signs - I hadn't experienced any pain and was living my life as normal.
In fact, before my heart attack I had boarded a plane and was reading a magazine. I was later told that I slumped forward without warning.
Luckily one of my fellow passengers was a nurse, and the stewardess was very quick to call the emergency services, which arrived, with a defibrillator, within four minutes.
It took 13 attempts to get my heart beating and I was in intensive care at Bristol Royal Infirmary on a life-support machine for three days.
Looking back, my annual check up with my GP had shown my