Wrong diagnosis makes comedian spend his life savings

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A British comedian ended up spending his life savings after he was wrongly told by doctors he only had three months to live.

Dave Ismay, 64, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leiceistershire, on hearing his initial diagnosis set out to complete his own “bucket list” and achieve his lifelong dreams. Ismay who has performed both on stage and on television had been told by doctors that alcohol abuse had left him with cirrhosis of the liver after test results showed he had excess iron levels. This was a shock to him since he never drank too much and had cut down smoking when he was 40. He then charted out his “bucket list” — which included writing a book about close friend and fellow comedian Bob Monkhouse, playing golf at an exclusive Irish golf course, visiting Australia and appearing in a pantomime. Buying a Mercedes was also on the list.

Eight weeks after his incorrect diagnosis, and after splashing out $46,000 on the new Mercedes, Ismay underwent a full body scan test which showed he was in fact suffering from the non-life threatening blood condition known as haemochromatosis.

Now 15 months after the initial diagnosis and he has published a book about Monkhouse and will appear in Redditch Palace Theatre's production of Mother Goose.

He explained, “Haemochromatosis is a relatively ‘new’ disease, but one in 400 people can have it and many don’t know. If you’ve got the symptoms that I had – feeling irritable and stressed, pains in your joints and liver area – get checked.” “I might have written “immortality” on the list thinking I would never achieve it, but it turns out I wasn’t as far off as I imagined,” he added.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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