Dame Mary Berry suffered a fall in August 2021 that resulted in surgery an a lengthy hospital stay. In a new interview, Mary Berry shares about the sport that saved her life during recovery.
Mary Berry is arguably one of the most beloved food personalities in the world…due in part to her role as judge on The Great British Bake Off that introduced her to audiences outside of the UK.
Already a celebrity prior to her GBBO days, Mary Berry reached a new level of fame when The Great British Baking Show began airing worldwide. That fame came with a heightened interest in Berry’s well-being…especially when news of her hospitalization was made public last year.
Mary Berry Underwent Surgery For A Broken Hip
In an interview with Daily Mail in October 2021, the 87-year-old detailed the incident that led to her surgery.
“We have raised beds in the garden and on a Sunday afternoon I’d gone out to pick the last of the sweet peas when I tripped over some bricks and went down really hard,” Mary recalled.
Berry at first thought that she had hurt her knee and attempted to call her husband Paul for help. But, Paul was distracted indoors by a cricket match he was watching and didn’t hear the phone ring.
Mary instead called her son-in-law Dan who immediately went to her and summoned an ambulance. When he placed the call he was told that they were “very, very busy” and would have to wait for an ambulance. That wait lasted 3 1/2 hours.
“Dan went into the house and got lots of coats and put them all round me,” Mary said. “My two dogs, Darcy and Freddie, immediately came and sat on either side of me and wouldn’t leave me.”
Dan was concerned about the wait but I said, “I’ve got you. I’m warm. We can wait patiently.”
When Mary finally arrived at the hospital, she was told that she had broken her hip. She underwent surgery the following morning. The spent 10 days in the hospital before returning home where she continued her recovery.
The Sport That Saved Mary Berry’s Life
In a new interview, Berry shared that following her surgery her doctor gave her two options….
“You could sit in a chair and do no exercise and quite probably be dead in four years. Or you can set to, walk (uphill too!) and do everything you can. It’ll take 18 months for a full recovery,” Berry said. “And gosh, she was right. I’ve exercised and had lots of physio and it’s not quite normal yet, but it will be.”
As part of her recovery, Mary and her husband Paul took up croquet, a sport that Mary Berry reveals saved her life by keeping her active.
“I’ve never played a sport with my husband before because he says I have no ball sense,” Mary admitted. “But we have lessons with a lovely Finnish lady – she is so patient with us and we absolutely love it! So it’s a great joy to play sport together at last.
“My husband used to play rugby for Saracens, and tennis and squash, but now he’s 90 he can’t. But croquet is perfect for people our age. We play for two hours and he says he’s knackered at the end but after a bit of a zizz he perks up again.”
See some of our favorite Great British Bake Off moments in the video below.
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