Fatima Whitbread battled ‘excruciating pain’ after breaking three ribs on a Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins job, but chose not to talk about it as she didn’t want to be removed from the Channel 4 show.
The former athlete, 61, injured herself when she jumped from a helicopter into the sea, a challenge that saw TOWIE star Pete Wicks, 33, leave the show after also cracking his ribs and knocking himself unconscious.
Sportswoman Fatima, the oldest contestant to ever appear on the show, told the Mirror: ‘I can’t tell you the excruciating pain I went through.
Persevere: Fatima Whitbread, 61, battled ‘excruciating pain’ after breaking three ribs during a Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins task
“Even picking up my backpack was very difficult. I knew I was a nuisance to some of them and asked them to help me with my backpack, where I would normally just pull it up with one arm.
“But I couldn’t even do that thanks to three bruised ribs. As the days passed, the pain got worse. I couldn’t lie down or sit up straight.
“And it was just… moving to get dressed, awful. Absolutely terrible.’
Driven to extremes? The former athlete, 61, injured herself when she jumped from a helicopter into the sea
Fatima said quitting the show never crossed her mind as she was determined to go through with the process.
She said the pain “grabbed” her after the accident, preventing her from lying down properly at night.
At the time, she was unaware that she had injured her ribs and decided not to see a doctor because of the pain because she didn’t want her to leave the series.
Talented: Fatima is a British retired record breaking javelin thrower (seen at the Dairy Crest Games in Gateshead, England in 1988)
MailOnline has reached out to Channel 4 for comment.
Last month, Pete said he was “really gutted” to be medically withdrawn from Celebrity SAS after knocking himself unconscious and breaking his ribs during the helicopter challenge.
The cast member of The Only Way Is Essex was seen floating face down in the sea in the shocking scene after jumping out of the plane with fellow 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Devastated: It comes after Pete Wicks (left) was ‘really gutted’ to be medically withdrawn from Celebrity SAS after knocking himself unconscious and breaking his ribs during the challenge
Rescue swimmers ran to help Pete, turning him over in the water when the concerned recruits were heard saying from the shoreline, “Someone’s in trouble.”
After swimming to shore, Pete told a medic, “I was winding myself up and passed out, all my ribs are quite sore and my head is pounding.”
He later said, “I wasn’t worried about that challenge, that’s the weirdest thing. My strongest thing is probably swimming.
Extreme: The Only Way Is Essex star was seen floating face down in the sea in the shocking scene broadcast last month after jumping from a helicopter in a helicopter task
“I really thought this would be the challenge for me to show what the hell I have and I was wrong, I was very wrong. I think my leg kind of got stuck in the bag and I went right down on the bag, knocked myself out and broke my ribs.
“I felt dazed and confused. I had trouble moving my upper body. Basically, I think where I would hit the sack, and I think just the impact of being unconscious and everything else, I was very confused.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on and even moving my arms was pretty painful just from the pressure on my ribs and everything, so it just wasn’t nice. It was just a strange, strange experience.’
After his accident, Channel 4 show medical chief Pete withdrew medically due to a chest X-ray.
Leap of Faith: Pete was seen at the helicopter door before jumping into the sea below
New head instructor Rudy Reyes, who took over from Ant Middleton, told the TV star: “The problem is you have some damage and the course will be much harder physically, and it’s too risky for your health.”
Pete wiped his eyes and said, “I didn’t want to come out like that. I don’t fucking stop with anything, that’s how it feels.’
On leaving the series, Pete said, “Actually, I was devastated. This is kind of a thing for me, it’s like I’ve always wanted to do this show and the worst thing for me was getting knocked out because that’s something I have no control over.
“But honestly, they are 100% right, because I couldn’t have gone through with my broken ribs. To have been out so early I was absolutely gutted because it is a failure. And, unfortunately for me now, I feel like I failed.
Task: He reached for his bag, which he was told to release just before hitting the water to avoid injury
“It’s something that will f**king haunt me because I just don’t fail things. I’m not saying I’m going to do anything and I’m not going to do it, so I was really hurt, upset, disappointed and mad at myself.
“Honestly, I still am, even a year later. That hit me hard. I felt like I had let a lot of people down, I felt like I was letting myself down.
“There was no question that I would ever hand in my bracelet. I knew I would never do that, so it really hurt to leave. To be withdrawn because you are physically incapable of passing through for something that was an unfortunate accident was just really hard for me.”
Pete said he would do the show again tomorrow if they gave him a second chance to appear.
Teammate: Pete jumped out of the plane along with former football player and fellow reality star Ashley Cain
“I feel like I have unfinished business and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve failed. I want to rectify that,” he said.
“It was something that is really going to haunt me. I think there are so many things happening on that show that would have benefited me as a person.
“Everyone who did it said they came out a changed person. I think that’s the thing I’m most sad about – that I didn’t get a chance to do that either – I really felt like, after just a few days, I started to understand a little bit more about myself and why I am the way I am.
‘I think I missed that. I really think the course would have changed my life. So, to leave like I did just made me pretty angry. I get more than just a bitter taste in my mouth, I’m really broken.’
To the rescue: A crew of people was seen heading to Pete by boat after he fell unconscious and floated on top of the sea