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Gardeners' World's Monty Don's near-death experience – the full story

The Gardeners' World host took time off from presenting to recover

monty don
Bridie Wilkins
Senior Health & Fitness Writer
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Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don has had to take leave from his role on the BBC2 show on various occasions due to his health, including a scare back in 2008.

SEE: Gardeners' World star Monty Don bravely opens up about battle with depression

Ahead of World Stroke Awareness Day on 29 October, we're recalling Monty's experience with the condition, which he said he first began to notice when he awoke with a "funny feeling".

WATCH: Monty Don receives special honour at Buckingham Palace

He decided to ignore it and went for a walk around the grounds of his home in Hertfordshire, but upon medical inspection, he discovered he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also known as a 'mini-stroke', which can be fatal according to the NHS, during his sleep.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2009, he explained how he felt: "I was so exhausted I did not know whether I was coming or going. I remember waking up feeling strange and dizzy.

MORE: Monty Don shares 'dramatic changes' with fans for upcoming episode

READ: Gardeners' World host Monty Don shares details of childhood trauma

monty don 2© Photo: BBC

Monty has presented Gardeners' World since 2000

"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'. 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'."

Doctors later revealed the cause of his experience – a blockage in the brain which resulted in a disruption to its blood supply.

Monty took the sensible decision to step down from his show to recover. He said: "I am proud to have led Gardeners' World for the past five years and have enjoyed every minute of sharing my passion with the programme's viewers. I intend to take some gardening leave for the rest of the summer to make a full recovery and so that I am ready to tackle new projects."

13 years later and Monty appears to be in good health.

You can find more information on transient ischaemic attacks via the NHS, or the Stroke Association.

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