‘I felt worthless’ Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick says childhood animal tragedy ‘changed’ life

Noel Fitzpatrick recalls feeling ‘worthless and meaningless’

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Supervet star Noel Fitzpatrick recalled a heartbreaking animal death in his younger years that left him feeling “worthless” during a new interview. The Irish veterinarian, best known for helping pets on his Channel 4 documentary, said the incident changed his life.

Noel opened up during an appearance on Desert Island Discs with Lauren Laverne.

The 53-year-old, who grew up on a farm in rural Ireland, told the host that he was looking after a flock of sheep during a night shift when tragedy struck.

One of the pregnant ewes had run into difficulty while trying to give birth.

He was just eight-years-old at the time.

When asked if he was scared of being out at night on his own, Noel explained that he was not as there was no one else around, but went on to recall one situation that stuck in his mind.

“There was a moment that changed my life, when I was scared, but not of a human,” he said.

He went on to explain that one particular night, one of the sheep had gone missing and was later discovered down a drain, a water trough which ran around the outskirts of the field.

The ewe was trying to give birth.

“I clambered down the side of the drain and pulled that lamb out and it was dead.

“Daddy always said, put your hand in and try to look for another so I did and there was a live lamb in there and I got it out under the water surface and it was freezing cold.

“I got it up the side of the bank and pumped life back into it’s chest and then I coaxed the sheep back out of the drain and as I was walking back up the field, I slipped on the ice and the lamb just flung out in front of me and died.

“And I just lay there looking up at heaven and all the stars in heaven and I felt worthless and meaningless and useless,” he heartbreakingly said.

Following his interview, Noel took to social media to share a picture with host Lauren.

He told fans that it was a dream of his to appear on the long-running programme which has featured a number of famous faces over the years.

“I am beyond excited to have fulfilled a dream of mine to combine two of my greatest passions – medicine and music – with @laurenlaverne on Desert Island Discs on @bbcradio4,” he wrote in view of his 262,000 followers.

“Desert Island Discs is one of my all-time favourite radio shows, so it was a great honour to be invited to contribute,” Noel added.

Season 16 of Supervet aired earlier this year and followed the story of Noel’s dog Keira.

The 13-year-old Border terrier was hit by a van right outside the practice and had to have life saving surgery.

He and his team battled to repair her internal injuries and broken bones.

Of his beloved pooch he said: “With her abundant love, Keira reminds me every day of why I signed up to be a vet, no matter how hard it can get.”

Desert Island Discs is available to listen to on BBC Sounds now.

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