Sunday's Desert Island Discs featured Prof Hugh Montgomery 

25/02/2014 00:00 
Professor Hugh Montgomery, professor of intensive care medicine at UCL and a UCLH consultant, was ‘castaway’ on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs over the weekend.
 
Professor Montgomery is known for his pioneering genetic research into the ACE fitness gene, which determines our capacity for either strength or endurance.
 
As if that was not enough, he is also a children's author, and has complemented his interest in fitness with achievements which include 100km ultramarathons, holding the world record for underwater piano playing (he was 19 and spent 110 hours underwater to raise money for the first portable ultrasound machine), as well as climbing 8200m to the peak of Cho Oyu in 2006 with the Xtreme Everest research group. At the age of only 15 he was also part of the dive team that investigated the treasures of The Mary Rose.
 
Prof Montgomery’s music choices were:
•        The Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar
•        Kate Bush, The Man with The Child In His Eyes
•        The Alan Parsons Project, Old and Wise
•        Dire Straits, Telegraph Road
•        Suzanne Vega, Gypsy
•        Joan Armatrading, Me Myself I
•        Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb
•        Jeremy Sassoon, The Things We've Handed Down
 
He said the Rolling Stones track reminded him of the time he smuggled a patient out of hospital and took him to a Stones concert. “I was looking after a patient who had been ventilated for several years and hadn’t got out of a hospital bed. I was phoned up by a colleague to say there were tickets to a Stones concert and we smuggled him out of the hospital and took him to the Stones gig, in the days when there weren’t even portable ventilators... I sat there in terror through the whole concert, panic-stricken that something would go wrong with the ventilator, but it didn’t and we got him back and to my knowledge that was the only time he made it out of hospital before he died.”
 
He also spoke about conducting experiments on himself first to make sure they were safe before trying them on other people.
 
He said, “I've learnt that life can end randomly and pointlessly at any time. I don't want to be on my death bed and think 'damn! I wish I'd learnt to paint and write songs'.”
 
To hear the programme click here.

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