health

The heartbreaking wish Dr Michael Mosley shared just one month before his passing.

"We're taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it."

These are the devastating words shared by Dr Clare Bailey Mosley about her 67-year-old husband, British TV presenter and author Dr Michael Mosley, whose body was recovered on the Greek island of Symi after a five-day search.

Michael was out for a walk on his own along Agios Nikolaos beach to the fishing village of Pedi when he "took the wrong route and collapsed," his wife said in a statement.

An initial autopsy determined he most likely died of natural causes.

He is believed to have taken a wrong turn and subsequently ended up on a two-hour trek in harsh conditions and scorching heat. Police officials told The Sun that Michael sat down for a final rest just a few yards away from the safety of a bar before he lost consciousness and died.

Five days later his body was recovered.

In one of his final interviews, with The Telegraph on April 30, Michael shared his hopes for the future, admitting that it was his wish to live long enough to see his grandchildren grow up.

The author said he had no intention of retiring, wanted to spend more time with his family, and would work "until they tell me to stop".

He expressed to the outlet how important it was for him to live a healthy life after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 55 — the same condition that claimed his father's life at 74.

"I had seen what happened to my father," he said. "He hadn’t seen his grandkids grow up. I thought, that’s not a road I want to go down."

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Michael was diagnosed with diabetes in 2012 after visiting his doctor about a possible melanoma on his skin. While he fortunately did not have skin cancer, he was told to go on medication to help manage the diabetes. 

But he said, "no thanks".

"My dad had had type 2 diabetes and had died of complications, even though he was taking the medication," he told The House of Wellness in 2020.

Michael managed to reverse his diabetes diagnosis by transforming his diet, leading to him writing his best-selling book, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.

The British TV staple was born in India before moving to England and enrolling in boarding school. He is most known for his work promoting intermittent fasting — especially the 5:2 diet — which made him a familiar face on TV panels in the UK and abroad.

Michael and Clare met in medical school at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School before getting married in 1987, moving to Buckinghamshire and welcoming four children together. 

The couple has spearheaded a range of initiatives together to raise awareness of diets and health programs across the UK. 

In the same Telegraph interview, he called their relationship the "dream team".

 “It’s lovely collaborating with your partner,” he continued.

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The TV doctor and his wife were holidaying on the picturesque Greek island of Symi when Clare noticed that her husband had not returned from his walk despite leaving at 1:30pm. By the time it got to 7:30pm, Clare alerted the local authorities and the search for Micheal began. 

The couple's four adult children — Alex, Jack, Dan and Kate — flew to the island of Symi to join the search party.

"It has been three days since Michael left the beach to go for a walk. The longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children," Clare shared in a previous statement. 

"The search is ongoing and our family are so incredible grateful to the people of Symi, the Greek authorities and the British Consulate who are working tirelessly to help find Michael."

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A police spokesman told the Daily Mail that the doctor had "forgot his phone at the beach. Any and every attempt to track him down has not produced any result."

"We have now asked the fire brigade to assist in the operation in the case that he may have slipped, tripped, fallen, even bitten by a snake, remaining injured somewhere. There is just no trace of him. None whatsoever and that means that for us at least, every potential scenario is open and being investigated."

CCTV footage was soon discovered showing Dr Mosley walking out of a fishing village before heading towards a rocky path that would take him up a steep hill in the mounting Mediterranean heat, a move that was described as "inexplicable" by local rescuers.

Michael Mosley appears on talk show Lorraine. Image: ITV. 

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There were immediate concerns over the difficulty of locating Michael in such a harsh terrain. "It is a strange area, a mountain with many blind and dangerous spots, which must be combed metre by metre," Symi's deputy mayor Nikitas Gryllis told News.gr.  

A search and rescue team was sent from Athens which included helicopters, drones and police dogs trying to locate Dr Mosley. Posts cropped up in a community Facebook group in Symi to find people who may have spotted him.

However, on the fifth day of searching, a local camera crew discovered Michael's body in a rocky area mere metres from a beach and local bar, Agia Marina. 

Symi Mayor Lefteris Papakalodoukas said that authorities had examined the footage. "We analysed the recorded evidence and it was obvious that it was, unfortunately, Mosley," Papakalodoukas said.

"It is unclear if he had an accident or if he felt unwell," Papakalodoukas said.

After the news of Michael's death circulated around the world, his wife released a somber statement. "It's devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband," Clare said. 

"We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together. I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days."

Tributes have since flooded in from people who worked with Michael or admired his work from afar. 

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TV chef Jamie Oliver shared a tribute on Instagram. "Absolutely devastating news about the sad loss of fellow TV presenter Micheal Mosley today. What a wonderfully sweet, kind and gentle man he was. He did such a lot of good for public health with his TV shows and research," he wrote. 

"He was a curious investigator, producer and presenter and often changed the conversation around many public health issues for the better. He will be sadly missed… love and thoughts to Clare and all of his family." 

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Fellow doctor, broadcaster and co-presenter on the BBC's Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Saleyha Ahsan, also shared "heartfelt condolences" with Mosley’s family before expressing her shock over what had happened.

"I think the last few days everyone was just hoping for a different scenario, [a] different outcome," she told Sky News

"Michael is resourceful. I mean his entire career he has used his body, he’s pushed his body to extremes in the name of science, in the name of finding better health outcomes for the rest of us. I just, I think all of us were hoping for a different outcome."

Broadcaster Dr Phil Hammond, said Mosley gave his his first 'big break' when he was made presenter on Trust Me, I'm a Doctor, and that he leaves an "enormous legacy" behind in simplifying complicated science for the masses. 

"If Mike’s legacy is that some of the advice that he gave about exercise and diet and keeping in shape can be more widely dispersed, that would be I think a fitting legacy," Hammond said.

Along with UK programs like Trust Me, I'm a Doctor and The One Show, Michael made regular appearance on breakfast show This Morning and hosted BBC podcast Just One Thing.

Down in Australia, Mosley is a recognisable face after starring as a presenter on local programs Australia's Health Revolution and Australia's Sleep Revolution on SBS.

This article was originally published on June 9, 2024, and has since been updated with new information.

Image: Instagram/ @drclarebailey.