Fatima Whitbread fought through ‘unbearable’ pain after breaking three ribs during a Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins task 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 out of a helicopter into the sea, a challenge which saw TOWIE star Pete Wicks, 33, leave the show after he too cracked his ribs and knocked himself unconscious.
Sportswoman Fatima, who is the oldest contestant to ever appear on the show, told the Mirror: ‘I can’t tell you the unbearable pain I was going through.
‘Even picking up my backpack was really hard. I knew I was being a pain to some of them asking them to help me on with my backpack where normally I’d just yank it up with one arm.
‘But I couldn’t even do that thanks to three cracked ribs. As the days went by, the pain got worse. I couldn’t lay down properly or sit up properly.
‘And it was just… moving about trying to get dressed, awful. Absolutely awful.’
Fatima said quitting the show never crossed her mind as she was determined to see the process through.
She said the pain was ‘gripping’ her after the accident, leaving her unable to lie down properly at night.
At the time she was unaware she had injured her ribs and decided not to see a doctor about the pain because she didn’t want to be told to leave the series.
MailOnline has contacted Channel 4 for comment.
Last month, Pete said he was ‘truly gutted’ to be medically withdrawn from Celebrity SAS after he knocked himself unconscious and broke his ribs during the helicopter challenge.
The Only Way Is Essex cast member was seen floating face down in the sea in the shocking scene after jumping from the aircraft with fellow reality star Ashley Cain.
Rescue swimmers raced to help Pete, flipping him over in the water as the concerned recruits were heard saying from the shoreline: ‘Someone’s struggling.’
After swimming to shore, Pete told a medic: ‘I winded myself and passed out, all my ribs are quite painful and my head is banging.’
He later said: ‘I had no worries about that challenge, which is the weirdest thing. My strongest thing is probably swimming.
‘I genuinely thought this would be the challenge for me to show what I f**king got and I got it wrong, I got it very wrong. I think my leg got a little bit caught in the bag and I went straight down onto the bag, knocked myself out and broke my ribs.
‘I felt dazed and confused. I was struggling to move my upper body. Basically, I think where I’d hit the bag, and I think just the impact of being unconscious and everything else, I was very confused.
‘I didn’t really know exactly what was going on and even moving my arms was quite painful, just because the pressure that was on my ribs and everything, so it just wasn’t nice. It was just a strange, strange experience.’
Following his accident, the Channel 4 show’s chief medical officer medically withdrew Pete because he needed to have a chest X-ray.
New chief instructor Rudy Reyes, who took over from Ant Middleton, told the TV star: ‘The issue is you have some damage and the course is going to get much harder physically, and it’s too risky for your health.’
Wiping his eyes, Pete said: ‘I didn’t want to come out like this. I don’t f**king quit anything, that’s what it feels like.’
On leaving the series, Pete said: ‘I was gutted actually. This is a bit of a thing for me, it’s like I’ve always wanted to do this show and the worst thing for me was to be taken out because that’s something that I can’t control.
‘But, being completely honest, they’re 100% right because I wouldn’t have been able to carry on with my broken ribs. To have been out so early, I was absolutely gutted because it’s a fail. And, unfortunately now for me, I feel like I failed.
‘It’s something that will f**king haunt me because I just don’t fail things. I don’t say I’m going to do something and don’t do it, so I was genuinely so hurt, gutted, disappointed and angry at myself.
‘I still am, to be honest, even a year later. That was tough for me. I felt like I’d let a lot of people down, I felt like I’d let myself down.
‘There was no way I was ever going to hand my armband in. I knew I never would, so to go out the way I did really hurt. To be withdrawn because you’re physically unable to carry on for something that was an unfortunate accident, I just found really, really tough.’
Pete said he would do the show again tomorrow if they gave him a second chance to appear.
‘I feel like I’ve got unfinished business and I failed as far as I’m concerned. I want to put that right,’ he said.
‘It was something that is genuinely going to haunt me. I think there are so many things that happen on that show that would have benefited me as a person.
‘Everyone who’s been on it said they came out a changed person. I think that’s the thing that I’m most sad about – that I didn’t get an opportunity for that too – I really felt like I was beginning, after just a few days, to understand a little bit more about myself and why I am the way I am.
‘I think that’s what I missed out on. I really think the course would have changed my life. So, to leave the way I did just left me quite angry. It’s left more than just a bitter taste in my mouth, I’m truly gutted.’