The 66-year-old who has received an OBE has been hosting the BBC Two show for more than two decades. Despite his successes, the presenter has been hit with multiple health conditions that have meant he has had to step away from the show at times to seek medical help. This includes a stroke and peritonitis.
“I said to my wife Sarah, ‘God, something funny is happening; I may be having a stroke.’ We weren’t thinking: this is a disaster. I said, ‘Hang on, I can move my fingers.’ I remember thinking, ‘Oh, get a grip, you’re fine’.”
Convinced he was OK, Monty proceeded to walk the grounds of his Herefordshire home.
When he did not start to feel any better, panic started to set in.
“I turned to Sarah and said ‘Hold me because I think I’m dying and, if I am, I want to die in your arms’,” the presenter explained.
Examinations and medical checks later revealed that Monty had suffered a transient ischaemic attack.
These “mini strokes” are caused by a temporary disruption in blood supply to the brain, usually due to a blockage.
Symptoms to look out for to identify a stroke include the following:
Face – the face may have dropped on one side, numbness in one arm.
Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them raised because of weakness or numbness in 1 arm.
Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all, despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
Time – it’s time to call 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.
“I got into an ambulance at 2am and they stuck morphine into my veins.”
A condition as severe as peritonitis needs treatment in hospital, which can take up to 10-14 days.
Those with serious damage will also need surgery to remove the infected stomach lining.
Monty made a full recovery from both health battles and continues to host the much loved gardening show.