Michael Mosley in Cornwall experienced hot and cold extremes

Dr Michael Mosley preparing to record a TV segment on a replica of Richard Trevithick's Puffing Devil in Cornwall with Philip Hosken, fellow author and former chairman of The Trevithick Society
-Credit: (Image: Philip Hosken)

In his time as a famous personality, Michael Mosley experienced extremes on visits to Cornwall. The tragic news has emerged that a body has been found in the search for the presenter and author on the Greek Island of Symi this morning (Sunday, June 9).

Massive search efforts had been going on in searing heat all over the island - on land and sea - since Mosley went missing on Wednesday, June 5. CCTV sightings had pointed to him heading into an area known to be potentially dangerous to walkers.

After the sad confirmation, we've looked back at visits he has made to Cornwall. The photo above was taken more than 20 years ago.

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It shows Mosley long before his TV doctor days when he used to cover a wide variety of topics. He is seen here in 2001 on a replica of Cornish pioneer Richard Trevithick’s Puffing Devil steam locomotive travelling on a road near Wheal Busy, according to Philip Hosken, who stands next to him.

Mr Hosken, who was chairman of the Trevithick Society for 13 years, says the star is wearing his society overalls. The replica of Trevithick's groundbreaking engine which revolutionised the use of steam was built by the Cornish Steam & Engineering Co Ltd.

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Mr Hosken, author of The Oblivion of Trevithick, told CornwallLive today: "Michael and I had discussed the locomotive and we went over what he was going to say to camera. He then ‘performed’ what he was going to say before climbing onto the loco. I noticed a copy of one of my Trevithick books in a BBC car."

Almost two decades later he was back in his professional role that is more familiar to his millions of modern-day fans. Mosley was extolling the virtues of the power of cold water when he ended up in hospital with his wife, Dr Clare Mosley, fearing he had suffered a stroke, he wrote for MailOnline.

Mosley said, in the summer of 2019, that the couple had come to stay with his older brother John, who lives by the coast in Cornwall. They went for a dip, despite it being cold and raining, but the sea was so cold that even the two regular chilly dippers decided to race each other for the shore.

Then, he said, everything "went blank" and the next thing he knew he woke up in A&E at Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, Truro. Clare told him he had emerged from the sea looking "perplexed" but otherwise normal, although he kept asking over and over again: "Is it 2017?" and "Did I pass out?".

He wrote in his weekly Mail column: "I also kept reminding myself, out loud, that I had four children, and saying their names, as though I was frightened I would otherwise forget them. For obvious reasons, this alarmed her."

He continued: "With my brother’s help, Clare had got me dressed and drove me straight to hospital. It was in the A&E department about two hours after the swim that my memory started to slowly come back and I became aware of my surroundings.

"Clare, who is a GP, was obviously very worried that I might have had a mini-stroke – what is known as a transient ischaemic attack, or TIA. This is when the blood flow is temporarily cut off to an area of the brain – usually the result of a blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body and travelled to the neck, causing a blockage.

"The disruption results in a lack of oxygen to the brain and this can lead to sudden symptoms that are similar to a stroke, such as problems with speech and vision, and numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs. A TIA doesn’t last as long as a stroke and its effects can often last only a few minutes or hours and fully resolve themselves within 24 hours.

"But it’s a warning shot: a TIA means you are at high risk of a full-blown stroke. Strangely enough, I wasn’t that worried.

"In fact, as we sat there, I told Clare my main concern was that going into hospital in the early weeks of August wasn’t a great idea, as this is when junior doctors start their new jobs. When I was at medical school, we called it ‘the killing season’ – and studies have since shown, statistically, that patients may be slightly more likely to die if they are admitted to hospital in the first week of August than in the weeks before.

"The fact that I could remember something I’d learnt at medical school was, I suppose, a reassuring sign. Fortunately, I was soon seen by a young doctor who clearly knew what she was doing.

"She did a full neurological examination, which consists of testing things such as co-ordination and grip strength. I didn’t have any obvious signs of physical or facial weakness, nor was my speech slurred – both telltale signs of a TIA and a stroke.

"By this point I was lucid and the only thing that was obviously wrong with me was the fact that I had no memory of how I’d got there, or what had happened to me. Puzzled, the junior doctor went off to fetch a more senior colleague. He did a further examination and gave me the good news that whatever was wrong with me, I had not had a stroke or epileptic attack.

"Instead he said that I had almost certainly experienced something called transient global amnesia, and that it was brought on by cold-water swimming. He said it was like a migraine attack, and although my memory had been badly affected, he fully expected it to return to normal within 24 hours."