Broadcaster John Suchet needs emergency treatment on Inca charity trek
Broadcaster John Suchet needed emergency treatment in the middle of the night after his oxygen levels plummeted dangerously during a charity trek.
Actor brother David, who joined him on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, coped better after training with his son, a former Marine.
Classic FM DJ John said he was still recovering from the expedition, on which he was also joined by wife Nula and third brother Peter.
The family, who raised £40,000 for a children’s charity, all suffered dangerously low oxygen levels as they climbed to 4,200 metres. Medics warned their lives would be at risk if they were not treated.
John, 74, said: “It was very arduous – low oxygen, freezing nights, difficult terrain. Even putting on walking boots left me out of breath. It’s not something to mess around with – low oxygen can kill.”
Nula, 69, had to be given an oxygen mask and travel by car for a day while John had to wake two medics and be put on medication one night because of nausea and headaches brought on by altitude sickness.
The former ITN newscaster said: “They took my blood pressure, checked my oxygen level and gave me tablets.
“Everybody reacts differently. There’s no telling how anybody’s going to react.
“When you do react badly, the likelihood is you get over it. I did, more or less. There was the constant knowledge we couldn’t push ourselves too hard because of that.”
John admitted: “Nula and I didn’t really do enough training and that’s one of the reasons I suffered.”
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He revealed that before they left for Peru, Poirot star David, 72, turned up at their flat in his gear. “I said to him ‘For God’s sake David, you’re really training this hard? How hard can it be?’
“To which the answer is: very hard indeed. He survived a lot better than me.”
The family were overwhelmed when they arrived at Machu Picchu.
John, who has written a biography on composer Verdi and will speak about him at Buxton International Festival tomorrow, said: “When we got there Nula had tears running down her face. It is amazing. It is such a sight.”
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