Fatima Whitbread struggled through “excruciating” pain after fracturing three ribs during a Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins task but chose not to speak out as she didn’t want to be removed from the Channel 4 show.
The former athlete, 61, injured herself jumping into the sea from a helicopter, a challenge that saw TOWIE star Pete Wicks, 33, exit the show after he too fractured his ribs and knocked himself unconscious.
Athlete Fatima, the oldest contestant to ever appear on the show, told the Mirror: “I can’t tell you the excruciating pain I went through.
Pushing through: Fatima Whitbread, 61, struggled through “excruciating” pain after breaking three ribs during a Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins task
“Even picking up my backpack was really hard. I knew I was a torment to some of them when I asked them to help me with my backpack, where I would normally just sling it up with one arm.
“But thanks to three broken ribs, I couldn’t even do that. As the days went by, the pain got worse. I couldn’t lie down properly or sit up properly.
“And it was just…moving around and trying to get dressed, horrible. Absolutely terrible.’
Pushed to the limit? The former athlete, 61, was injured after jumping into the sea from a helicopter
Fatima said it never crossed her mind to leave the show as she was determined to go through with the process.
She said the pain “took hold of her” after the accident, leaving her unable to lie down properly at night.
Little did she know at the time that she had injured her ribs and decided not to see a doctor about the pain because she didn’t want to be asked to leave the show.
Talented: Fatima is a retired British record javelin thrower (seen at the Dairy Crest Games in Gateshead, England 1988)
Web has reached out to Channel 4 for comment.
Last month, Pete said he was “really disappointed” to be withdrawn from Celebrity SAS on medical grounds after knocking himself unconscious and breaking his ribs during the helicopter challenge.
The The Only Way Is Essex actor was seen floating face down in the sea in the shocking scene after jumping off the plane with reality star Ashley Cain.
Devastated: It comes after Pete Wicks (left) was “really gutted” to be medically withdrawn from Celebrity SAS after knocking himself unconscious and fracturing his ribs during the challenge
Lifeguards rushed out to help Pete and turned him over in the water as worried recruits from shore were heard saying, “Someone’s in trouble.”
After swimming to shore, Pete told a paramedic, “I got swaddled and passed out, all my ribs are hurting quite a bit and my head is pounding.”
He later said: “I had no qualms about this challenge, which is the strangest thing. My strongest thing is probably swimming.
The Extreme: The Only Way Is Essex star was seen floating face down in the sea after jumping from a helicopter in a helocast task in the shocking scene that aired last month
“I really thought this would be the challenge for me to show what the fuck I could do and I was wrong, I was very wrong. I think my leg got caught in the pocket a bit and I fell right on top of the pocket, knocking myself unconscious and cracking my ribs.
“I felt dizzy and confused. I had trouble moving my upper body. Basically I think where I hit the sack and I think just the effects of the unconsciousness and everything else I was very confused.
“I didn’t know exactly what was going on and even moving my arms was quite painful just because of the pressure on my ribs and everything, so it just wasn’t nice. It was just a weird, weird experience.’
After his accident, the Channel 4 show’s chief medical officer withdrew Pete on medical grounds because he needed a chest X-ray.
Leap of faith: Pete was seen sitting at the door of the helicopter before jumping into the sea below
New head instructor Rudy Reyes, who succeeded Ant Middleton, told the TV star: “The problem is you have some damage and the course is going to be a lot more difficult physically and it’s too risky for your health.”
Pete wiped his eyes and said, “I didn’t mean to come out like that. I’m not fucking giving up, that’s how it feels.’
When he left the series, Pete said, “I was really disappointed. That’s a bit of a thing for me, it’s like I’ve always wanted to do this show and the worst part for me was getting taken out because that’s something I can’t control.
“But honestly they are 100% right because I couldn’t have continued with my broken ribs. To have been out so early I was absolutely disappointed because it’s a failure. And unfortunately, now I feel like I failed.
Task: He was seen clutching his bag, which he was told to release just before hitting the water to avoid injury
“It’s something that’s going to fucking haunt me because I just don’t fail. I’m not saying I’ll do anything and I’m not doing it, so I really was that hurt, burned out, disappointed and angry at myself.
“I still am, to be honest, even a year later. That was tough for me. I felt like I let a lot of people down, I felt like I let myself down.
“There’s no way I would ever give up my armband. I knew I would never do that, so it really hurt to leave the way I did. Being withdrawn because you are physically unable to continue what was an unfortunate accident was just really, really hard for me.
Pete said he would do the show again tomorrow if they gave him a second chance to perform.
Teammates: Pete jumped off the plane alongside former footballer and reality star Ashley Cain
“I feel like I have work to do and I’ve failed as far as I’m concerned. I want to set that straight,” he said.
“It was something that will really haunt me. I think there are so many things that happen on this show that would have benefited me as a person.
“Everyone who was there said they came out a changed person. I think that’s what I’m most sad about – not getting the opportunity to do that either – I really felt like after just a few days I was starting to understand a little bit more about myself and why I’m the way I am like I am.
“I think that’s what I missed. I truly believe that the course would have changed my life. Leaving the way I did made me pretty angry. It left more than a bitter taste in my mouth, I’m really disappointed.”
To the rescue: A crew of people were seen boarding the boat to get to Pete after he fell unconscious and was floating at sea level